After recording back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season, Arsenal turn their attention to the Carabao Cup, where they host League One outfit AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
The Gunners reached this stage of the competition with an emphatic 6-0 win over West Brom and have since steadied the ship with a pair of 1-0 wins over Norwich City and Burnley after losing three straight to kickstart the season.
Mikel Arteta will be looking for his side to carry some further momentum into this weekend’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
With that in mind, the young Spanish head coach has plenty to think about over his starting lineup, so here’s what Football FanCast are predicting ahead of kick-off…
Whilst Arteta is expected to rotate his squad ahead of the weekend’s big crunch match, the north London outfit should still be pretty strong, considering the fringe options available at his disposal.
There could be as many as nine changes from the side that defeated the Clarets on Saturday.
Bernd Leno could return between the sticks, having lost his Premier League place to summer signing Aaron Ramsdale, whilst the back four may also be all change as 21-year-old Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares come in for Kieran Tierney and deadline day addition Takehiro Tomiyasu, who has started his Arsenal career on fire so far.
Pablo Mari and Rob Holding are likely to be the central defensive partnership, allowing first-choice duo Ben White and Gabriel a rest ahead of Spurs.
In midfield, we could see starts for Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, despite the latter’s request to leave the club in the summer. Granit Xhaka is still suspended and Thomas Partey may not be risked after picking up a knock against Burnley, even despite his return to training this week.
However, both Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe are the two to keep their spots from the weekend and they’ll be joined by Gabriel Martinelli on the left-flank, with Alexandre Lacazette being preferred up top.
It means there is no place for the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Bukayo Saka or Martin Odegaard, who are all in line to start at the Emirates Stadium in a few days time.