After a dismal start to the season, Arsenal seem to have finally gotten back on track in the Premier League. Meanwhile, they are looking to continue their brilliant start to the 2021/22 EFL Cup Campaign.
Last time out, Arsenal professionally took care of Wimbledon with a 3-0 win. The question is though, with the winter schedule in the PL fast approaching, will Arteta opt to rest a number of key stars, or will he look to put us in the quarter-finals with a strong lineup. Either way, here is how I would choose for Arsenal to line up.
Overall, I believe some players need a rest, others deserve an opportunity, but overall I want to see a strong team. Arsenal do not have the burden of the Europa League this season, meaning there is no excuse not to challenge for one of the EFL Cup or the FA Cup. We should keep the spine fairly unchanged, but bring in some players deserving of a chance to prove themselves.
GK – Ramsdale: The lad is full of confidence right now and rightly so. He has been playing so well and I see no reason why he should be dropped
RB – Tomiyasu: He has started life at Arsenal really well. I thought he struggled a bit against Palace, but was excellent against Villa. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who needs a break so I’d keep him in the side to continue his form
CB – White: He started a bit slow at Arsenal but we are finally starting to see his qualities. Again, I think he should play whilst he continues to settle in at the club
CB – Holding: Nothing against Gabriel, he is perhaps the best defender at the club. But he has had injury issues and has done a fair bit of travelling with his national team. In a game like this, I feel like Holding deserves a chance
LB – Tavares: Tierney was rested against Villa and I doubt that Arteta did that thinking he would then risk him in this game. Tavares has been arguably our best performing new signing so far and deserves another game to keep proving himself. The way he currently plays, I don’t feel like we will miss out on that much with Nuno instead of Tierney
CDM’s – Lokonga and Maitland Niles: Both of these guys don’t need any rest. In fact, they could both do with some more games under their belts as they try to prove to Arteta that he doesn’t need to go out and sign a Granit Xhaka replacement right away. Partey has been brilliant so far this season, but if he gets injured in an EFL cup game and we are without him for a large chunk of the season again, I would be fuming.
Number 10 – Odegaard: Smith Rowe has been on great form, but there’s no harm in giving him a break in this one. Odegaard, in my opinion, has not quite been at it in his last few games. Hopefully, an open cup game against Leeds can suit him and help get him back to his best
RW – Pepe: The same logic with dropping Smith Rowe for Odegaard, I would apply to dropping Saka for Pepe. Pepe is a confidence player and this could be an opportunity to get that confidence back
LW – Martinelli: He has impressed me with every appearance he has made so far this season. He needs and quite frankly deserves a run of games
ST – Lacazette: The glue that holds the team together right now. He hasn’t played loads of football this season so shouldn’t need a break. Without him there is no pattern or structure to our attacks
There have been reports today that Arteta wants to go fairly strong tonight, and I agree. It would be great to get a trophy this season!
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons