Wednesday, January 24th. The second leg of the semi final of the Carabao Cup. After finishing in a stalemate at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal brings the play to the Emirates in a game that promises to entertain.
Arguably our best player in Alvaro Morata is injured for the Blues, paving the way for Michy Batshuayi to fill in and potentially make an impact, like what we witnessed in our pre season game in Asia.
However, like Morata, Batshuayi hasn’t been the most prolific of scorers. It is in fact Eden Hazard who needs to be watched with a close eye. A player who is undeniably on scintillating form as of late, our defence must be alert to his attacking threat – if any of our young defenders feature, composure and staying on one’s feet is pivotal.
One positive is that Cesc Fabregas will not be featuring either alongside Morata; an aura always seems to revolve around him when he plays at the Emirates, one that one could deem distracting at times.
I don’t have to tell you that this is a must-win game for the Gunners – after suffering a humiliating and premature exit out of the FA Cup, it is imperative that we push on for domestic cup victory in the form of he Carabao Cup. The key to this victory will be Lacazette. Alexandre has experienced somewhat of a goal drought recently; hopefully his strike in our 4-1 annihilation of Crystal Palace on Saturday will do wonders for his confidence. Two other players who need to step up, who I have full trust in doing so, are Jack Wilshere and Mustafi, arguably the two most popular candidates for the captain’s armband in the Gunners squad. If Shkodran can marshall the defensive line, and Jack Wilshere can provided some much needed attacking impetus and flair, it is not hard to envisage us winning tonight.
Monreal, Mustafi, Koscielny;
Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Bellerín;
Predicted scoreline: 1-0 to the Gunners
@carljhiggins for the @Clockend_talk