Just two days after defeating Everton 5-2, the Gunners are back in action for a Carabao Cup fourth round match with Norwich City. Arsenal are unbeaten in its last eight matches against the Canaries, who are a team on form - unbeaten in their last nine in all competitions.
For Arsenal, I expect a lineup similar to the one deployed against Red Star last week. With the short turnaround, its unlikely anybody who played significant minutes against Everton will even be in the side tomorrow. The only question in my mind is will Arsene Wenger rotate Alex Iwobi into the attacking three or will he stick with Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Olivier Giroud.
In the grand scheme of things, this is not an important match. If Arsenal lose, nobody will remember it come next week. But I think that these other competitions, the Europa League, the FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup are valuable to Arsenal, valuable beyond the silverware on offer.
Its been a while since Arsenal have had an exciting, young player make an impact in the Premier League, probably not since Jack Wilshere broke through. These competitions give players like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and others a chance for meaningful games, better opponents, and better teammates than the U-23 matches they regularly play.
Obviously, the longer Arsenal remain in these competitions, the more matches the young players get, and the more opportunities they have to develop into Premier League caliber players. And with Arsenal’s aging roster, having young guys ready to refresh and rejuvenate the club will come in handy, perhaps soon than you think.
Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the goal, because anytime Arsenal play Norwich, it is appropriate to link it (@1:46 if you don’t want to watch the entire thing):
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Norwich City, Carabao Cup 4th Round
WHEN: Tuesday, October 24th, 11:45 AM PT | 2:45 PM EST | 7:45 PM BST
WHERE: The Emirates
US TV: ESPN3
Check out livesoccer.tv for all your outside the U.S. streaming needs. As always, please do not discuss or share links to illegal streams.