Predicted Arsenal XI for League Cup tie v West Brom

Vermaelen Captain

Here is how Arsenal could line-up for their cup tie with West Brom on Wednesday night.

Line-ups for the League Cup are notoriously hard to predict, with more factors simply than form and injury to take into account.

There is the option to promote youth players, fringe players, those returning from injury while also factoring in how strong a team the opposition are likely to take the game and trying to counter. All that, and Arsene Wenger always likes to throw in a curveball for good measure too.

Arsenal's midweek opponents West Brom have been struggling for form but won their first Premier League game against bottom side Sunderland at the weekend which alleviates any building pressure on manager Steve Clarke.

Arsenal meanwhile are full of confidence, top of the Premier League table inspired by record signing Mesut Ozil.

They have a number of youngsters in training with the first team squad, while key men like Ozil and Ramsey are expected to be rested, with Jack Wilshere also likely to be benched.

Here is how we predict the side will line-up:

                          Viviano

Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Hayden, Monreal

               Eisfeld, Arteta, Flamini

      Gnabry                          Miyaichi

                         Bendtner

Subs: Bellerin, Sagna, Wilshere, Olsson, Akpom, Park, Martinez.

Analysis: Arsene Wenger has to find the balance between trying to win the game and aiming to learn something new about his squad players. It is the perfect environment to test new goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, especially with Lukasz Fabianski picking up an injury in training last Friday.

Nacho Monreal will also likely get some much-needed game-time, while Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen will also be handed their first starts following injuries, with the aim of getting them up to match fitness for the weekend's Premier League fixture.

Partnering both of them could be youngsters, Isaac Hayden in centre-defence who played as a sub against Manchester City in pre-season and was on the bench against Marseille. Midfielder Thomas Eisfeld trained with the first team on Tuesday and could be in line for a start in the competiton he impressed in last season, while Emmanuel Frimpong was notable by his absence from the session. Mathieu Flamini could feature to give the midfield extra bite and solidity.

At right-back there will be a decision between Carl Jenkinson and Spaniard Hector Bellerin, who may be left out to balance inexperience elsewhere in the squad and accommodate Hayden in the backline.

In attack Serge Gnabry and Ryo Miyaichi are both likely to feature, with the pair appearing as a starter and a substitute respectively against Stoke at the weekend. Up front Nicklas Bendtner is in line for a controversial recall, but will be pushed by teenage prospect Chuba Akpom who came off the bench against Fulham three weeks ago; with Yaya Sanogo still injured. In with an outside chance of making the bench is Park Chu-Young who was involved with training on Tuesday.

Back at Arsenal and in contention: Park Chu Young

Let us know your predicted line-up...  

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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