Taking on AFC Wimbledon in the next round of the League Cup, let’s take a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup for the fixture.
After a couple of wins in the Premier League, Arsenal return to the League Cup for the third round, the last round where new teams are introduced into the competition.
The Gunners have already played one League Cup fixture, knocking out West Bromwich Albion 6-0. They now face AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium, ahead of the North London derby this weekend.
Given such a big game is coming up a few days later, we’re predicting heavy rotation from Mikel Arteta. Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup to face AFC Wimbledon.
Given Aaron Ramsdale’s form, he has to be the favourite to start against Tottenham Hotspur. But Bernd Leno should get a chance in this game, and it’s an opportunity he’ll want to take to win his spot back.
There really aren’t many alternatives in the number 10 position, so Arteta may need to call on Martin Odegaard once again, after his winning goal at the weekend.
It would be nice to see an academy player getting a call-up, and Kido Taylor-Hart or Omari Hutchinson are certainly capable of filling in, or perhaps Salah Eddine Oulad M’Hand or Ben Cottrell.
The issue is that none of them have even seemed close to a first-team appearance recently, so it would be a bit of a jump to suddenly start one of them.
The Arsenal boss can get at least two of those three into the team by pushing one of them wide, likely Nketiah or Balogun with Lacazette up front. Nketiah will probably make it into the team on seniority.
Gabriel Martinelli should get a chance on the other wing, as he’s the most natural fit out wide from the players remaining.
Another possibility is that Arteta might choose to drop Lacazette back to the 10 position, playing Balogun up front. But a front four of Lacazette, Balogun, Martinelli, and Nketiah really lacks balance, so it’s a risky call.
Finally, one option would be to switch to a back three, playing Tavares and Cedric as wing-backs with a third centre-back (either Kolasinac or Chambers) joining the side. That would allow both Odegaard and Smith Rowe to rest, but it would be a bit negative.