Arsenal will travel to Nottingham on Tuesday night as they begin their League Cup campaign. The Gunners are expected to make 11 changes following a recent tough run of fixtures including trips to Hull City and Paris Saint-Germain in the last 6 days. Here’s our predicted line-up.
GK: David Ospina – The Colombian is the clubs number 2, but after Cech’s mistake against Hull City and Ospina’s great performance in Paris, he will know that another good showing at Forest will put pressure on Cech for that number one spot. Wenger has already called him ‘world class’.
RB: Mathieu Debuchy – Debuchy wanted to leave the club this summer, that is no secret, but with Calum Chambers going out on loan, the club needed to keep hold of their Frenchman and he will get a chance to prove his worth on Tuesday night after Hector Bellerin has played every game so far this season.
CB: Rob Holding – Holding may have been harshly pushed out of the starting eleven because of the arrival of £35million Mustafi, but the Englishman will get chances and alongside Gabriel, he could be auditioning for the 3rd choice central defender.
CB: Gabriel Paulista – The Brazilian has returned quicker than anyone expected and is in line for a start tomorrow night. He needs to up his performance to stay ahead of Holding in the pecking order though.
LB: Kieran Gibbs – Gibbs! The forgotten man. Monreal hasn’t had the best start to the season so Gibbs has a chance on Tuesday to stake his claim for a place in the starting eleven.
CM: Mohammed Elneny – The Egyptian has been pushed down the pecking order at Arsenal but he is still a quality player and option. At £5million, he was a real snip and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action from the start again tomorrow.
CM: Granit Xhaka – The Swiss midfielder scored a brilliant goal against Hull on Saturday and will look to follow that up with an impressive performance against Forest. He is determined to win his place in the XI and I’m confident he will show Wenger why he deserves it tomorrow.
RM: Theo Walcott – Theo missed the Paris game and he’s starting to hit rhythm, so I can see Wenger playing him again against Forest, despite the big game against Chelsea at the weekend. Theo needs to keep playing to find his best football again, I would like to see him start this one.
AM: Jeff Reine-Adelaide – A big chance for Jeff is likely to come tomorrow night. The 18-year-old is very highly rated by Wenger and although he won’t get many opportunities this season, an impressive performance on Tuesday could give him more chances – the next Iwobi?
LM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – It has been a worrying start to the season for The Ox, but this game gives him a chance to show what he can do against a weakened opposition. He has already dropped behind Alexis, Theo and Iwobi in the pecking order and with the likes of Jeff queuing up, Ox needs to be careful his Arsenal career isn’t over before it’s even started.
ST: Lucas Perez – The Spaniard has only had one start since his £17million move to Arsenal, but it looks like he will get a second chance against Forest. It will be interesting to see if the Spaniard can excel against Championship opposition. One goal could kick-start a purple-patch.