Arsenal are set to tackle their local rivals Tottenham in Wednesday’s EFL fixture. 16 days ago, the Gunners recorded a massive 4-2 victory over the Lilywhites and they will be hoping to do the same when both sides meet again on Wednesday.
Arsenal failed to protect their 22-match unbeaten as they were defeated 3-2 by Southampton at the St Mary’s stadium last Sunday. They will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways against Mauricio Pochetino’s men in the quarter-finals of the EFL competition.
Irrespective of their great goalscoring prowess so far this season, Unai Emery’s men are far becoming a team with a slow start.
In 17 Premier League games, they have failed to lead any of their opponents before the half-time break.
Apart from their slow and uninspiring start to games, the Gunners have a very fragile defence concedes goals too easily.
23 goals in 17 Premier League games is a testament the Emirates outfits need an upgrade at the back of the pitch.
However, the frontline is a total contrast to the defence unit. The strikers have looked sharp and deadly under Unai Emery and they will certainly cause Tottenham lot of problems.
The Gunners couldn’t lift any EFL trophy throughout Arsene Wenger’s reign at Emirates Stadium. However, Emery is more than willing to do everything to win the trophy this season.
Knowing quite well that this competition offers him the best opportunity to win his first trophy as Arsenal boss, Emery will approach Tottenham’s game with total concentration and winning mentality.
The Gunners will be without left-back Hector Bellerin due to injury. The Spaniard picked up a calf injury in their defeat to the Saints on Sunday and he’s expected to be out of action for two weeks at least.
Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding are long-term absentees, while, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac are uncertain to make Emery’s match-day squad list.
Having missed Sunday’s defeat to Southampton due suspension, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back in contention for a place in the team.
Predicted starting lineup
With experienced Sokratis’ return from suspension, Emery has no reason to continue with his unproductive three-man defence. Therefore, he’s expected to deploy a four-man defence formation.
Fit-again Laurent Kolscieny, Lichtsteiner, Maitland-Nile are equally expected to be in the starting lineup.
Petr Cech would be given the nod to start ahead of Bernd Leno who wasn’t convincing against Southampton.
Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, Lacazette, Sunday’s two-goal hero Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Guendouzi are all tipped to be in the starting XI.
See the Gunners possible lineup below :
Cech; Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Ramsey; Lacazette