Here is Arsenal’s likely line up to face Reading on Tuesday night.
With the Gunners stuttering for the first time in weeks against Middlesbrough on Saturday, it highlighted to the fans and the manager that the players were tiring and the need for rotation is important.
Goalkeeper: Damian Martinez
Arsenal are using their three goalkeepers this season. Petr Cech starts in the league, David Ospina in the Champions League and Martinez appears to have his spot in the English League Cup. Martinez is a talented young goalkeeper, but aged 24 he needs to make sure he is playing regularly now. For him to get games at Arsenal they need to remain in this competition. He has everything to prove.
Defence: Carl Jenkinson, Gabriel Paulista, Rob Holding, Kieran Gibbs (c)
Gibbs will captain the team again like he did against Nottingham Forest. With Monreal struggling at left back, another impressive performance from Gibbs could see Arsene select him ahead of the Spaniard in the Premier League. Monreal’s crossing has been particularly poor of late, and if Gibbs can demonstrate a good attacking performance then he will put pressure on Nacho. Jenkinson is the headline in this defence, he looks set to return after a long time out. With Mathieu Debuchy out in the cold, Arsenal could do with Jenkinson fit and performing again, as there is no natural back up to Hector Bellerin in the squad currently. In the heart of defence Mustafi and Koscielny will be rested, enabling Holding and Gabriel to get more minutes.
Midfield: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohammed Elneny; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jeff Rene-Adelaide, Alex Iwobi
There could be a real mix up in midfield, with Wenger unlikely to give Coquelin a third start in less than a week following his injury. This means Elneny is almost certain to start in the centre of midfield, with Granit Xhaka suspended and Cazorla and Ramsey injured, we may see young Maitland-Niles in midfield alongside Elneny. The youngster is a player I really rate highly and he played well in an unnatural right back posisition in the previous round – I think he deserves to play again. In front of them, Wenger has said that Chamberlain, Jeff and Iwobi will all play. Iwobi was rested in last weeks Champions League game and he needs to find his best form again – this home game against Reading will be a good chance for him to do so. With Ozil and Alexis not in the squad at all, Jeff will get a chance in attacking midfield – it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in this position with Wenger having high hopes for the teenage Frenchman.
Striker: Lucas Perez
Lucas has only managed two starts in an Arsenal shirt to date, but he made an impressive cameo in the Champions League recently, notching up two assists in the final 25 minutes against Ludogorets. In his most recent start against Nottingham Forest he netted two goals. With the Gunners drying up in front of goal on Saturday, Lucas will have a good chance of starting the clubs next league game if he impresses again on Tuesday.