Tonight we entertain AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup as we hope to make it three wins on the bounce.
With the North London Derby looming on Sunday Mikel Arteta is sure to want to protect some of his key players, but he’ll need to balance that urge with the necessity of getting a win.
Apart from the sense of momentum a third straight victory will give us, the Carabao Cup is one of only two possibilities for silverware this season (along with the FA Cup).
Wimbledon are doing well in League One and are notable for their aerial threat from set pieces, with both centre backs contributing to their goal tally this year.
In that regard, last weekend’s away trip to Burnley was good preparation for the long ball bombardment that’s sure to come our way tonight.
And so to the big question: does El Patron start with a really strong team and hope to rest players from around 60 minutes onwards if we’ve put the game to bed?
Or does he start with a mostly B team and keep the big guns on the bench for emergencies?
I suspect it will be the latter (see below), although I would not be surprised if he opts for a half-and-half team with a sprinkling of First Teamers in the starting line up.
Squad news is that Xhaka is still suspended and Elneny is a doubt. Other than that there’s a full complement to pick from.
Here’s my suggested starting eleven:
Chambers – Holding – Mari – Tavares
Maitland-Niles – Lokonga
Pepe – Lacazette – Martinelli
What do you think Arteta will do?
And what would you do?