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18-year-old to start in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal XI to face Southampton
Arsene Wenger is expected to ring the chances when Arsenal welcome Southampton to the Emirates on Wednesday night in the quarter finals of the EFL Cup. This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….
Emi Martinez has started in the previous rounds of the competition and is expected to celebrate his new contract with another run out tomorrow night.
Defence: Jenkinson, Gabriel, Holding, Gibbs
Bellerin is still nursing an ankle injury and Debuchy picked up a hamstring problem upon his return to the first team on Sunday so we have limited options at right-back. Gabriel was surprisingly brought on against Bournemouth but I think we’ll see the Brazilian lining-up alongside Holding in the middle of defence against Southampton.
Therefore, Jenkinson should come in at right-back tomorrow night while Gibbs will come in for Monreal on the left side of defence.
Midfield: Ramsey, Coquelin
Maitland-Niles has been given a chance in previous rounds but we’re now in the quarter finals and facing a tough Southampton side so I’d like to see a more established pairing in midfield.
Ramsey was left out against Bournemouth at the weekend so the Welsh international should come back in to the side along with Coquelin – who was an unused sub on Sunday.
Xhaka was impressive against the Cherries so hopefully he’s done enough to convince Wenger he deserves to start in the league so I’d rest him ahead of West Ham.
Attack: The Ox, Adelaide, Iwobi
Oxlade-Chamberlain put in a decent shift against Bournemouth so I think it’s now a close call between him and Iwobi for a regular starting spot in attack. I’d give them both another chance to impress against Southampton with Walcott and Ozil both given a rest.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide has played in previous rounds and it will be good to see the 18-year-old given another chance against decent Premier League opposition tomorrow night.
Obviously Sanchez should be rested entirely for the game. Ordinarily Giroud would come in but the Frenchman picked up a hamstring concern at the weekend so I wouldn’t risk him.
Perez returned to full training last week after recovering from an ankle injury and Arsene has hinted he’ll be in contention for the League Cup game so I’d start him up front.
This would be my line-up: