Arsenal predicted 4-2-3-1 v Southampton: Wenger to make nine changes
COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Arsenal could make nine changes for their EFL Cup tie against Southampton on Wednesday evening at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners earned victory on Sunday in a hard-fought clash against Bournemouth on Sunday with an Alexis Sanchez double and Theo Walcott strike cancelling out a Callum Wilson penalty in a 3-1 win.
Petr Cech, Mathieu Debuchy, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Walcott and Sanchez all started against the Cherries, but they could be rested against the Saints.
This is likely to result in David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Kieran Gibbs, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud coming into the side.
Striker Giroud will be keen to impress in a rare start with two goals in his last three appearances for the team.
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Meanwhile, attacking midfield trio Ramsey, Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be looking to cause problems to a strong Southampton defence.
Mohamed Elneny will be likely to keep his position in the team alongside Coquelin in the defensive midfield and the young duo will attempt to keep the Saints attack quiet.
Gibbs, Holding, Gabriel and Jenkison are expected to start in the defence and all have seen minutes in the Premier League this season.
However, they are all behind someone in the defensive pecking order and they will be looking to impress by continuing Arsenal’s clean sheet run in the EFL Cup.
Colombia international Ospina will be likely to give Cech the night off as the cup goalkeeper and he will be eager to earn his third clean sheet from six fixtures.
A place in the semi-finals awaits the winners of the clash and the League Cup remains the only domestic competition Wenger has not won during his 20-year managerial career at Arsenal.
In other Arsenal team news, the Gunners suffered a shattering injury blow following the win over the Cherries.