Arsenal’s strongest lineup vs Southampton: Lucas Perez makes a dramatic return
Arsenal continued their pursuit of the Premier League title with a hard fought 3-1 victory over Bournemouth during the weekend and the Gunners now focus their attention to the EFL Cup clash against Southampton on Wednesday night.
While Arsenal will surely be keen on progressing into the semi final of the competition, manager Arsene Wenger is expected rest a host of his first team players for the clash and here is our prediction of the side the Frenchman will go with on the night.
Emiliano Martinez has featured for Arsenal during their last two EFL Cup encounters and it is expected that the 24-year-old will get another chance to shine on Wednesday.
The Argentinean has kept clean sheets in both the matches in which he has featured and the young custodian will have to do well against Southampton in order to make it three in a row.
The backline on the night is also expected to be completely reshuffled as the likes of Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi are all expected to be handed rests.
In place of the aforementioned players, Carl Jenkinson, Gabriel Paulista, Rob Holding and Kieran Gibbs are expected to be come in. Mathieu Debuchy has been ruled out with a serious hamstring problem.
Granit Xhaka, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Mohamed Elneny and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain all started against Bournemouth and there is a chance that they might not do so in the EFL Cup clash against Southampton on Wednesday.
Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide should lineup instead while Lucas Perez may well be making his return to the starting lineup after recovering from his injury quicker than expected.
In the holding role, Francis Coquelin may come in for Elneny and it will be interesting to see how the youthful looking Arsenal midfield will perform on the day.
Olivier Giroud has been making a huge impact whenever he has come off the bench this season and one can be sure that the French international will be looking to do the same when he leads the line for Arsenal in midweek.