Arsenal face Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in the League Cup on Tuesday, let’s take a look at our predicted lineup for the last-16 clash.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

There are a few different factors going into Mikel Arteta’s team selection for Tuesday’s League Cup clash.

On the one hand, it’s the League Cup, a competition where Arsenal historically rotate and give opportunities to young players. But they are facing Premier League opposition, and Arteta does seem to be taking the competition pretty seriously.

There’s also the fact that Arsenal just have such a huge squad right now. They can rotate the entire starting lineup without calling up a single youth player and they’ll still have to leave a few first-team players out.

That’s roughly what we’re predicting Arteta to do. He can still go pretty strong with a group of first-teamers whilst simultaneously resting his Premier League side.

Here’s how we think he’ll do it, in our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Leeds United.

Goalkeeper

Bernd Leno in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Bernd Leno in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

Bernd Leno will probably come back into the team, after his clean sheet in the last round against AFC Wimbledon. These are the only games we seem likely to see Leno play at the moment, with Aaron Ramsdale nailing down the Premier League starting spot.

Defence

Brentford v Arsenal 13 August 2021, London - Premier League Football - Brentford v Arsenal - Pablo Mari of Arsenal pulls a face as he wipes sweat from his forehead - Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside. London UK
Brentford v Arsenal – Pablo Mari of Arsenal pulls a face as he wipes sweat from his forehead – Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside. London UK

The injury to Kieran Tierney and the recent regularity of starts for the rest of the back four suggests we may well see a few of Arsenal’s lesser-used players in the defence on Tuesday.

To avoid Nuno Tavares having to play three games in just over a week, Sead Kolasinac could come in for his first appearance since August. Rob Holding will surely start at centre-back, with Cedric Soares taking Takehiro Tomiyasu’s place at right-back.

That leaves one centre-back position for either Pablo Mari or Calum Chambers, neither of whom have even made a matchday squad for a month. Mari started in the last round, so our money is on him.

Midfield

Burnley v Arsenal - Premier League - Turf Moor Arsenal s Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley. Picture date: Saturday September 18, 2021. Copyright: Anthony Devlin
Burnley v Arsenal – Premier League – Turf Moor. Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley. Picture date: Saturday September 18, 2021. Copyright: Anthony Devlin

Once again, there’s an opportunity for some rotation here, allowing Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Emile Smith Rowe to rest.

Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are both available for rare starts, and Martin Odegaard could also make the side after he was only used as a substitute on Friday.

Forwards

Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli right celebrates with Mohamed Elneny after scoring their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Copyright: Facundo Arrizabalaga
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli right celebrates with Mohamed Elneny after scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Copyright: Facundo Arrizabalaga

Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah have been struggling for minutes lately, and this is a good chance for the two of them to come back into the team. Nicolas Pepe should start alongside them, given he didn’t feature on Friday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will likely both make the squad as bench options, but it looks like they’re both starters in the league games at the moment.

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Leeds United

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Leeds United created using Chosen11.com
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Leeds United created using Chosen11.com
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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.