Arsenal face Liverpool away at Anfield once again on Thursday, this time in the League Cup and likely with a lot of changes from Monday.
Arsenal face Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday, slipping to a 3-1 defeat to the English champions. They now have to prepare for another game against the same opposition at the same location in midweek.
Not only is it difficult to name the same team twice in a few days without risking fatigue and injury, but you also just expect a host of changes in the League Cup. Usually, it’s a chance to blood youth and give reserve options minutes.
Of course, Arsenal were unfortunate enough to draw Leicester City and Liverpool away from home in the first two rounds, which changes the manner of the task somewhat. But you still expect both managers to name weakened teams on Thursday.
Let’s have a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup against Liverpool.
This is one position where I’m not expecting a change. Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson is here as a backup now, but I think Mikel Arteta will stick with Bernd Leno. Rúnarsson will probably make his debut in the Europa League group stage in a lower-profile match.
With Kieran Tierney only just returning from injury, I think he’ll drop out for this one – unfortunately. Sead Kolasinac will have to come in, with Gabriel Magalhaes also replacing David Luiz in the middle.
On the right, I actually think Rob Holding will keep his place. The only real alternative is giving William Saliba his debut. Like with Rúnarsson, this doesn’t seem like a great occasion to do so.
Midfield and Wing-Backs
Dani Ceballos only played a half against Liverpool on Monday, so he should be fine to start this one as well.
Joe Willock will probably come into the side alongside him, with Mohamed Elneny playing 90 minutes in the last game and Granit Xhaka more likely to rest before the match against Sheffield United.
Right now, we don’t know if Cedric Soares is fit for this one. Arsenal wrote on Sunday that he’ll return to full training ‘in the coming days’, but that might not be in time for this match. If not, Hector Bellerin should keep his place.
Bukayo Saka can come back into the team on the left. He performed well in last season’s 5-5 draw at Anfield and will hope to repeat that performance this time around.
Eddie Nketiah scored in the last round and will probably get another chance to score in this one, replacing Alexandre Lacazette in the starting lineup. Similarly, Nicolas Pepe should come in for Willian on the right.
Reiss Nelson will complete the same trio we saw against Leicester City, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a long shot to even make the squad. Arsenal don’t tend to use him in these games.