In a very seasonal fixture we entertain Manchester City tonight in the quarter final of the Caribou Cup.
Caribou, as you all know, are also called “reindeer” and tend to be kept busy at this time of year pulling Santa’s sleigh.
It would be nice to think we could win and get closer to winning a trophy in this so-far abysmal season. If we manage to beat City we would play the semi final on January 5th, meaning (if we win again) that we could have a Wembley appearance booked by the first week of the new year.
I know it’s only the Reindeer Cup, but that would lift spirits a little bit, wouldn’t it?
Even so, tonight’s game is surely an occasion for El Patron to play several of the younger and more fringe players. After all, our Premier League form is the real crisis area right now and we face Chelsea on Boxing Day.
Given the wealth of talent available to the pale blue Mancs, even a second string side from them will be packed with ability, so this will be a difficult fixture for whichever group of Arsenal lads we send out.
It also makes me think Arteta will opt for a back three/five to give us more defensive security in the hope we can do again to City what we did to them in the FA Cup last season (soak up pressure with the ‘low block’ and catch them on the break).
Here’s my (highly unlikely to be accurate) predicted line-up, bearing in mind that Xhaka is suspended and Partey and Auba are both unavailable through injury:
Soares – Chambers – Mustafi – Mari – Kolasinac
Maitland-Niles – Elneny
Nelson – Balogun – Smith-Rowe
For all our league woes, we have continued to shine in the cup competitions, so I wouldn’t rule out us winning this one, whoever starts.
Come On You Gunners.