Arsenal make the short trip across London to face Brentford in the Carabao Cup third round. The Gunners enter the competition in this round because they’re in Europe. Brentford played in the second round — a rotated XI needed penalty kicks to beat League Two side Newport County AFC. This time around, Arsenal will be the rotated side facing what is expected to be a near full-strength Brentford lineup.
Make all the jokes you’d like about the Carabao Cup, I’d still like for Arsenal to win today and the pot come February. But I’d like for them to win playing as few of their first choice players as possible, at least today. Rotation is important. It’ll be good for the players who are usually on the bench to get playing time so that they’re fit, ready, and sharp should they be called on in either the Premier League or the Champions League. If they win today, they’ll get another match for themselves. And if a rotated side goes out of the competition, so be it.
The Gunners are in the midst of an injury crisis — Declan Rice, Thomas Partey, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, and Bukayo Saka are all unavailable today. Other than Trossard, who might have started, the rest likely wouldn’t have had much more than a run-out to stretch the legs, if they played at all. Fortunately, all of them, save for Thomas Partey, are expected to be fit in the next week or so, back in time for the match against Manchester City. Thomas Partey, who wasn’t expected back until after the October international break, is recovering ahead of schedule and may be available for that match, too.
Brentford have their own long list of injury woes, too. Summer signing Kevin Schade will be out for several months with a groin injury that requires surgery. Fullback Rico Henry is expected to miss most / all of the season with a knee injury. Centerback Ben Mee is out for “some weeks” with a knee problem. Mikkel Damsgaard is set for an appointment with a knee specialist to diagnose his injury. Josh Dasilva is out with a hamstring injury suffered last month, and Shandon Baptiste is recovering from a dislocated shoulder. Ivan Toney will not return from his gambling suspension until January.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Kiwior, Jorginho, Havertz, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Sagoe Jr., Nketiah
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 27, 2023
©️ Jorginho skippers the side
Smith Rowe racks up 100th appearance
Sagoe Jr makes debut
COME ON YOU GUNNERS! pic.twitter.com/wR7cvg4hkA
Brentford - Flekken, Roerslev, Collins, Zanka, Pinnock, Hickey, Norgaard, Janelt, Onyeka, Mbeumo, Wissa
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Brentford, Carabao Cup 3rd Round
WHERE: Gtech (Brentford) Community Stadium
WHEN: Wednesday, September 27th, 11:45 am PT | 2:45 pm ET | 7:45 pm BT
US TV: Streaming on ESPN+.
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