Arsenal kick start their Capital One Cup campaign with match against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Arsenal will bid to end their trophy drought in the Capital One Cup this season, and begin the tournament with a third round clash against West Bromwich Albion.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has selected a young squad for the game, with the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud all rested.
The squad includes forgotten men Park Chu-Young and Nicklas Bendtner, youngsters Chuba Akpom, Ryo Miyaichi, Thomas Eisfeld and Hector Bellerin, and new signing Emiliano Viviano.
Here’s our predicted line-up for the Gunners at the Hawthorns.
GK – Viviano: With Wojciech Szczesny not selected, new signing Emiliano Viviano can look forward to his first start in an Arsenal shirt.
RB – Jenkinson: Still an understudy to Bacary Sagna at right back, Carl Jenkinson is nevertheless on the fringes of the first team and will be granted another chance to impress here.
CB – Mertesacker: Per Mertesacker is one of the leaders of this Arsenal squad. His turning circle may be equivalent to a lunar orbit, but his positioning and organisation is second to none and he will be a valuable senior head on the pitch.
CB – Vermaelen: Club captain Thomas Vermaelen is set to continue his return from injury, and a good performance could help him break up the partnership between Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
LB – Monreal: Such is the form of Kieran Gibbs that Spain international Nacho Monreal is currently playing second fiddle to the Englishman. Still, the 26 year-old is a much better backup player than Andre Santos. Shudder.
CM – Arteta: The remarkably coiffed Mikel Arteta is a metronome-like presence in midfield for Arsenal, dictating play at a steady tempo and mopping up with well timed tackles. He is set to continue his comeback after coming on as a substitute against Stoke City.
CM – Flamini: Defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini has been a revelation since returning to the Gunners, with fans in north London impressively forgiving of the way he ran down his contract in his previous spell at the club thanks to his snappy performances on the pitch. The Frenchman’s pointing and yelling in the middle of the park has also been a most welcome addition.
RW – Ryo: One of the few players in the Arsenal squad that could challenge Theo Walcott in a race, the England winger’s abdominal injury has opened up a vacancy on the wing for Arsenal. Ryo Miyaichi was handed a substitute opportunity against Stoke City, and was able to stretch the play and provide an outlet. He could start against West Bromwich Albion.
LW – Gnabry: Serge Gnabry actually replaced Theo Walcott in the starting XI against Stoke City, after the England man withdrew shortly before kickoff, and the young German has already proved he can be counted upon. After a nervous start, Gnabry grew into the game, and kept possession intelligently. In this match he should be granted more license to roam.
AM – Eisfeld: With Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey rested, and Santi Cazorla injured, the attacking midfield spot is expected to be handed to Thomas Eisfeld, who appears to be over the worst of the injury troubles suffered in his youth. An impressive goalscoring record in the U21 Premier League could see him offered an opportunity here.
FW – Bendtner: Nicklas Bendtner hasn’t scored for Arsenal since March 2011, when he grabbed a hat-trick against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. Two subsequent loan moves have not shifted him from the Gunners wage bill, and given that Arsene Wenger failed to bring in a striker in the summer transfer window, he has an unlikely chance to regain his place in the Arsenal side. Appears to have turned into a Viking over the summer.