Arsenal play their second North London derby of the month on Wednesday, as Tottenham Hotspur visit the Emirates Stadium for the League Cup quarter-final.
Unai Emery got off to a good start against Arsenal’s local rivals with a 4-2 win at the Emirates earlier in December. Now he needs to try and follow it up in the cup, with 90 minutes between his team and the semi-finals.
After playing a Premier League match on Sunday, with another coming up on Saturday, Emery might be tempted to rotate some of the team for this clash. However, a North London derby in the League Cup is still a North London derby, so we expect him to go pretty strong all the same.
Let’s have a look at our predicted XI and team news for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Petr Cech should come in for Bernd Leno. Tottenham are the best team in the league at scoring headers, an area Leno struggled with on Sunday, conceding three. Cech is one of the best goalkeepers around at dealing with crosses, so this is his area of expertise.
Also, he’s Arsenal’s cup goalkeeper, and he didn’t get a game last week in the Europa League, so he’ll be itching to get back out there.
Unai Emery showed on Sunday that he wants to stick with a back three, even with the team’s injuries at the moment. Sokratis Papastathopoulos should come back in after his suspension, whilst Emery confirmed Shkodran Mustafi will be assessed ahead of the game. If he’s fit, he’ll be back in the team.
That leaves the left centre-back, and Nacho Monreal will probably fill in there. Laurent Koscielny is an option, but three starts in under a week might be too much for him. Stephan Lichtsteiner came off with a knock against Southampton, so he probably won’t start this one either.
If Mustafi doesn’t make it back in time, or Monreal isn’t up to two games in four days after returning from injury, Zech Medley and Granit Xhaka are the alternative options.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Wing-Backs, Forwards and the Full Starting XI