Runar Alex Runarsson is in line to make his Arsenal debut while Gabriel Magalhaes and Nicolas Pepe should return in the Carabao Cup meeting with Liverpool.
Arsenal will be eager to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup when they take on Liverpool at Anfield in the fourth round tie on Thursday. And, Mikel Arteta does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
On Thursday, the Arsenal manager could be without as many as seven first-team players, with Gabriel Martinelli the only one who’s on the treatment table. The likes of Sokratis, Cedric Soares, Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and Emile Smith Rowe have resumed some form of training, but none of them is likely to be fit enough to feature.
Among the aforementioned sextet, Cedric is the likeliest to be at Arteta’s disposal, but the full-back might have to suffice with a place on the bench this week. Instead, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could move to the right wing-back slot, with Bukayo Saka starting on the left.
✅ Final prep
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The three-man central defensive unit should see a complete revamp against Liverpool, though. Gabriel Magalhaes, who was relegated to the bench, should sit at the heart of the back-three, with Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba, who is being eased into the Arsenal first-team setup, expected to provide him company.
Behind them, summer arrival Runar Alex Runarsson ought to be the second Arsenal debutant on Thursday against Liverpool. Up ahead in midfield, Dani Ceballos will be the key man for the north Londoners, with Joe Willock likely to provide him company in the middle of the park.
As for attack, Alexandre Lacazette scored for the third successive Premier League match this week against Liverpool, but raised some eyebrows with his reaction after being subbed off. During his post-match press conference after the game against Liverpool on Monday, Arteta spoke about the Frenchman.
“They want to win and this is what I like. The mindset of the team is that they want to go to any ground and they want to win. The boys were really disappointed to lose the game because they really believed that they could come here and do it. But he had a great game. He put in another incredible performance and I’m pleased with him.”
Lacazette, though, should make way for Eddie Nketiah, who will spearhead the Arsenal attack against Liverpool, with Arteta keeping his troops fresh by making heavy rotations. Out wide, Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe ought to come in for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Runarsson; Saliba, Gabriel, Kolasinac; Maitland-Niles, Willock, Ceballos, Saka; Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson