The Carabao Cup seems tailor-made to probe the depths of how little a club and its fanbase can care about a competition. Sure I want Arsenal to win their match at the Emirates against Nottingham Forest, but would I care if they lost? Probably not.
Nottingham Forest aren’t a pushover. They knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup last season, winning 4-2 at The City Ground in January. They are currently 6th in the Championship and haven’t lost a match since the beginning of August. It was a tricky fixture before Arsenal agreed to play the game on Tuesday so that Forest could have more time to rest and prepare for their Championship clash with Stoke City on Friday.
Unai Emery will be forced to rotate the side heavily from the lineup that faced Aston Villa on Sunday. As he said, “it’s not normal [to play again] within two days and we need fresh players and we need different players.” Fortunately for Arsenal, the club has no shortage of players who need playing time to get to full match fitness.
Emery said that Rob Holding will play — his first senior action since tearing his ACL last December. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are also expected to make their first-team season debuts today, although they may come off the bench. For more on which Arsenal youngsters might see action, check out our Match Notes.
Arsenal - Martinez, Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney, Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Ozil, Smith Rowe, Martinelli
Forest - Muric, Cash, Figueireo, Robinson, Ribeiro, Chema, Silva, Johnson, Carvalho, Lolley, Adomah
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest, Carabao Cup
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Tuesday, September 24th 11:45 PM PT | 2:45 PM ET | 7:45 PM BST
US TV: Not broadcast. Streaming on ESPN+ ($$$).
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