Arsenal face Leicester City tonight in the Carabao Cup. After wins against Fulham and West Ham, Arteta is expected to rotate his squad for the trip to Leicester.
The League Cup has been an opportunity to groom young talents and offer game time to squad and fringe players. But Arteta is not taking the cup for granted.
“We are going to take the Carabao Cup seriously, that’s for sure. And obviously, with the fixtures that we have, the number of games, it is very difficult” – Mikel Arteta
So what do we expect tonight?
The Return of Mesut Ozil & Matteo Guendouzi
Ozil has not featured in any competitive game for Arsenal since the lockdown in March. Guendouzi is yet to play since the 2-1 loss to Brighton post lockdown last season. It is a new season and Arteta has informed the public that everyone starts on a clean bill.
Pictures from Arsenal’s training ground have the duo active with the squad. Will Arteta feature Ozil and Guendouzi? If this happens, the results of the game will make or mar the duo. I hope they have a good game. The fans will love to see Ozil play again. And he “loves” Leicester City.
Arsenal fans were excited with the return of William Saliba. That excitement has been watered down because the Frenchman is yet to make his debut for the Gunners. Looking at the three games played this season, it is apparent that Saliba is below Gabriel, Holding and Luiz in the pecking order.
It is the Carabao Cup. If we can’t see our new #4, when then can we see him play. Leicester City will be a stern test.
Runar the Gunner
The departure of Martinez to Aston Villa meant Arsenal needed a backup goalie for Leno. The German returned from injury and is Arsenal’s number one but Martinez has earned the right to regular action in order to be Argentina’s number one.
With Macey also rumoured to be on his way out, Arsenal brought in Icelandic international Runar Alex Runarsson. The Arsenal fan may make his debut tonight. He claims to be good with his feet and have had a working relationship with the current goalkeeper coach. His stats at Dijon were not impressive but this is Arsenal. Will he keep a clean sheet tonight?
The starting line up may look like this: Runar, Niles, Kolasinac, Saliba, Luiz, Willock, Ozil, El Neny, Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson. Bench: Macey, Holding, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Torreira, Saka, Lacazette.
Leicester City is a good Carabao Cup test. I expect Brendan Rodgers to name a strong side. The Cup is always an easier one to win. There is nothing wrong in winning the cup. It is a trophy after all.
Whosoever chosen by Arteta tonight have to wear the badge with pride, fight for the club and give his all.