Arsene Wenger has always considered the League Cup, or the Capital One Cup as it is called now, as a platform to field the youngsters and to get them acclimatised to the way life works in the Premier League. However given the opposition and the situation we find ourselves in after two successive losses, Wenger confirmed that the team tonight wouldn’t be much different from the one that took to the field against Chelsea.
The Spurs have finally managed a win in the league this season and will be confident coming into this game. Mauricio Pochettino had never lost against Arsene Wenger as Spurs manager and he will be looking to keep the record intact. It promises to be a passionate game.
The Gunners have to get their season back on track after consecutive losses. While the loss to Zagreb was disappointing, the Chelsea one was deflating. A sense of injustice prevailed over the incidents in the game and although the FA seem to have finally acted with common sense (Costa’s suspension and Gabriel’s dropped charges), the end result remains that we lost 3 points. It’s important that we get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
In terms of team news, Per Mertesacker returns to the side after recovering from a viral infection while Gabriel is available after his suspension was lifted. Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are long term. Olivier Giroud should get the nod ahead of Theo Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain could replace Ramsey on the right. Santi Cazorla is suspended.
Spurs, after a weekend win in the London derby against Palace, will be looking to compound Arsenal’s misery at White Hart Lane tonight. They have traditionally done well in the Cup, reaching the finals last year; and having not lost to us at all in well over a year they will be confident coming into the game.
On the injury front Bentaleb is a major doubt while Dembele faces a late fitness test.
It’s a game which in normal circumstances would have proven the ideal one to rest players. The fact that it’s a North London Derby makes it a must win game.