Arsenal enter the EFL Cup at the third round stage with a difficult away tie against Brentford. Last Word on Football looks at the Arsenal predicted lineup for this domestic cup clash.
Arsenal Predicted Lineup
Arsenal Predicted Lineup: Recall for Aaron Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale seems to have lost his place as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper to summer signing David Raya. The Spanish goalkeeper has featured in all of Arsenal’s previous three matches, including their first Champions League game in six years and their derby day draw to Tottenham at the weekend.
Nevertheless, this cup tie provides an opportunity for Ramsdale to respond to the challenge laid down to him by Mikel Arteta and reclaim his position between the sticks.
Watch: Analysing Arsenal
Changes at the Back
The North London side have finally found some consistency in their back four over the past few matches operating with Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. This EFL cup match, however, provides an opportunity to give a break to at least two of these defenders who have served Arteta so well over the previous two seasons.
Expect an opportunity for Takehiro Tomiyasu who has looked solid when coming on at left back to help the Gunners see out games so far this season. Jakub Kiwior could also be given a chance to prove himself – having had limited minutes this season.
It is also worth keeping an eye out for Reuell Walters at centre-back. The 18-year-old is one to watch at the Emirates over the next couple of seasons. Arteta may see this trip to Brentford as an opportunity to blood the former Tottenham academy star with his first senior minutes.
Important Match for Many Arsenal Midfielders
One issue that the Gunners are facing is their lack of options in the midfield alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odergaard. Fabio Vieira seemed to have made the biggest claim to the position with two assists in as many matches, but the Portuguese man was replaced at halftime in the North London Derby.
His replacement Kai Havertz has been underwhelming, with him yet to register a goal or assist in his seven appearances for Arsenal.
Fans favourite Emile Smith-Rowe, described by Arteta as “incredibly popular,” seems to have been left behind in this recent iteration of the Arteta revolution. Arsenal fans will be hoping that the 23-year-old English creator is given an opportunity from the start at the Gtech Community Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Injury Issues in the Arsenal Front Three
Arsenal went into the clash with Spurs on September 24 with Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard missing with injuries. To make matters worse, Bukayo Saka hobbled off in the game. Arteta has cooled any concern, defending the change as a precaution.
Nevertheless, Reiss Nelson is an Arsenal winger starved of minutes who should start against Brentford. Despite seemingly recovering from the injury that ruled him out for the first few matches of the season, do not expect Arteta to gamble on Gabriel Jesus with so many big clashes awaiting Arsenal before the next international break.
Arsenal Recent Form and Tactics
Arsenal’s display in the North London Derby was disappointing – but the Gunners remain undefeated and only four points off Manchester City. This EFL Cup clash gives an opportunity for certain players to play themselves into form.
The likes of Vieira, Havertz, Smith-Rowe, and Eddie Nketiah may all benefit from a cup match, away from home and not being broadcast in the UK. Arteta will set up in his usual 4-3-3 with Tomiyasu acting as the inverted fullback, which he has done whenever replacing Zinchenko this season.
Arsenal Injuries to Consider
There will be relief amongst the Arsenal fan base after a flurry of key players have all avoided long-term injuries over the past week. Declan Rice seems to have not suffered any long-term damage after picking up an injury against Spurs.
Martinelli, Trossard, and Thomas Partey are all close to a return, although unlikely to feature against Brentford – leaving the only serious injury as being Jurrien Timber. The Dutch defender is still a number of months away from a return.
Arsenal Predicted Lineup
Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Jorginho, Havertz, Smith-Rowe, Vieira, Nketiah, Nelson.