During the week Arsenal were drawn against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup.
The game is less than a month away, meaning Arsenal will have to take an early trip to N17 to play the first north London derby of the season, and Arsène Wenger has said he will take the game, and the competition, seriously.
“It’s an interesting draw and we have had some fierce competition with Tottenham over the years, even in the League Cup,” the Arsenal manager told the media on Friday.
The two clubs last met in the League Cup in 2010, when there was another clash at White Hart Lane in the third round of the competition. That night Henri Lansbury, Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri (two) scored the goals in a 4-1 win for the Gunners, who required extra-time to prevail.
“It will be interesting but for us it’s an opportunity to go through and we will take the competition seriously,” said Wenger.
Arsenal have used this competition to give youth players an opportunity for first-team football in the past, but that’s unlikely this time around. A number of highly-rated youth players have been loaned out, with Gedion Zelalem the most recent following moves for Dan Crowley, Chuba Akpom and co. earlier in the window.
As a result Wenger has little choice but to field a strong side with some experience, and he’ll look to continue his impressive north London derby record.