If it seems like Arsenal are playing Liverpool a lot, it’s because they are. The Gunners and the Reds will play each other for the fourth time in (basically) two months today in the Carabao Cup 4th round. The two clubs met at this stage of the competition last season. Liverpool won a wild 5-5 match on penalties after Divock Origi scored a 94th minute equalizer.
I’ll say again what I did last week about the Carabao Cup: I never want to see Arsenal lose, but going out of this particular competition in this particularly congested season wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. The Europa League begins at the end of the month, and a 5th round fixture mixed in with continental and Premier League matches in a few weeks is less than ideal.
In Arsenal’s last Carabao Cup match, Mikel Arteta made 7 lineup changes from his previous, Premier League lineup. I expect more of the same today — rotation. The Gunners have their easiest Premier League match of the month, home to winless Sheffield United, on Sunday. Those are three points they need to claim, and I think Arteta will have that in mind with his player selection today. Nathan predicted heavy rotation, too.
Liverpool will likely take the same tact. Jurgen Klopp sent one of his assistants to conduct the prematch press conference in his stead, for crying out loud. Last season, Klopp made his disdain and dislike for all the ancillary competitions and their ensuing fixture congestion plain for everyone to see. The Reds may send out an even less experienced squad than the Gunners.
For Arsenal, Sokratis, Cedric Soares, and Emile Smith Rowe are all back in full training, although today’s match may come too early for them to start, especially Smith Rowe. The long-term injuries are unchanged. For Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara is out following a positive coronavirus test on Monday. Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out.
Arsenal - Leno, Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Willock, Xhaka, Pepe, Nketiah, Saka
Liverpool - Adrian, N Williams, R Williams, Van Dijk, Milner, Grujic, Jones, Wilson, Minamino, Jota, Salah
WHAT: Arsenal at Liverpool, Carabao Cup 4th round
WHEN: Thursday, October 1st 11:45 PM PT | 2:45 PM ET | 7:45 PM BT
US TV: Streaming on ESPN+.
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