Arsenal’s fringe side once again have a chance to go out and try to prove themselves in the Carabao Cup – this time against West Ham.
After narrowly beating Norwich City during the last round thanks to some last-minute magic from Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal face the Hammers for the second time in the space of a week on Tuesday evening.
However, in the League Cup, we’re unlikely to see the same starting XI or performance that we saw from the first team in the Premier League last week.
Worryingly, the Gunners fringe team haven’t been massively convincing this season. We were less than inspiring against the Canaries and were honestly lucky to win it after going 1-0 behind early on, and most of our Europa League clashes have been snooze-fests. Except for our 6-0 win against BATE Borisov but that was down to our experienced players also being involved.
West Ham, on the other hand, really need a solid cup run. They’re just two points above the relegation zone in the league and need something to lift the team, and the fans. Therefore, I expect them to really go for it at the Emirates on Tuesday and I certainly wouldn’t bet against them going ahead first.
Although the Gunners are 1/2 with the likes of Sky Bet and William Hill, they’re still 8/15 with Bet365. West Ham, meanwhile are 11/2 with most betting sites. Therefore, while they’re not favorites, they’re not exactly entirely out of the running.
Of course, if you do fancy a flutter on the Carabao Cup or even the grand national 2018 free betting offers allow you to view the latest odds. While Arsenal are the current favourites, this could change after the team news is released.
The Hammers’ 3-0 win at Stoke on Saturday will have given them a boost off the back of a draw against us and 1-0 victory over Chelsea.
Overall, I do think our youngsters should overcome whoever David Moyes puts out but I can’t see it being straight-forward.
As far as the starting line-up is concerned, we haven’t seen David Ospina in a while so I imagine he could be given the nod, as could Sead Kolasinac, who’s struggled for game time ahead of 20-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles in recent weeks.
Unlike the Evening Standard, I don’t expect Arsene Wenger to put out a full-strength Arsenal starting XI since we’ve got a busy festive period quickly approaching. The Frenchman will most likely want to rest his star men.
Predicted score: 2-1.
Predicted team: Ospina, Debuchy, Holding, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Elneny, Coquelin, Welbeck, Iwobi, Theo, Giroud.