Arsenal and Arsene Wenger meet Jose Mourinho again for the first time since the Portuguese boss returned to Chelsea. Here is the Gunners’ expected line-up for the Emirates Stadium clash.
Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, and Arsene Wenger is likely to continue his policy of selecting the younger players in the squad.
However, a London derby against the Blues of Wenger’s old foe Jose Mourinho represents a different challenge, and the wily French manager could select some senior players in his line-up.
In typical perpetual injury crisis limbo, the Gunners have nevertheless some impressive talent at their disposal, with Arsene Wenger reserving special praise for young midfielder Isaac Hayden – likely to play his part in the Capital One Cup tie due to Mikel Arteta’s suspension and Mathieu Flamini’s injury.
“I like his strengths in the duels,” said Wenger of Hayden to the official Arsenal website.
“I like his capacity of concentration and I believe as well that technically he is very focused to do well.
“He is committed and at half-time [in West Brom game] I told him to behave well because he was on a yellow card and he did that well in the second half.
“He is maybe not a creative player but everything he does is intelligent. I like his intelligence and all these qualities together makes me choose him.”
Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson will likely come into the side in place of defenders Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, and Kieran Gibbs, while Bacary Sagna could move into the centre back position.
Hayden joins Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky in midfield, with Santi Cazorla and Serge Gnabry on the wings and Nicklas Bendtner up front.