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[Image] Tierney & Balogun start: My 4-2-3-1 Arsenal line-up to face Notts Forest

By on September 23, 2019

Kieran Tierney arsenal

Arsenal will take on Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Martinez

Martinez was excellent against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League last week so I have no worries about him starting against Forest on Tuesday night. Leno will get another rest.

Defence: Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney

Maitland-Niles is suspended after being sent off against Aston Villa so Chambers should come in at right-back while Mustafi is set for another start. He did reasonably well against Frankfurt and let’s be honest, he can’t do much worse than those who’re in front of him in the pecking order right now.

Tomorrow night should hopefully see the return of Holding as he’s ready to make his first team comeback having overcome a knee injury. Sokratis and Luiz will be given the night off along with Kolasinac.

It’s going to be interesting to see whether Emery risks Bellerin or Tierney. I think it would be a big risk to start Bellerin after just 62 minutes of football with the U23s as he’s been on the sidelines for over 9 months.

However, Tierney could be in the squad as his injury wasn’t anywhere near as serious as Bellerin’s. He came through an hour with the U23s on Friday so I’d be tempted to give him a similar run out for the first team tomorrow. Youngster Bola is an alternative and trained with the first team today but this could be a good opportunity to blood Tierney into the first team.

Midfield: Torreira, Willock, Smith Rowe

Xhaka, Guendouzi and Ceballos should all be rested after starting against Villa so we’ll see plenty of changes in midfield. Torreira should come in to the side along with Willock and hopefully they take their chances as I think both should be ahead of Xhaka in the first team pecking order.

Ozil didn’t feature on Sunday and he’s likely to be in the squad against Forest after training today, however, I think this game should be beneath him. It would be a huge slap in the face if Ozil plays with the kids in the League Cup, and that’s not exactly the way to motivate a player like Ozil.

Do we really think Ozil will roll up his sleeves and put in a 10/10 against Forest? Nope. He’d be in a strop, so I’d rather we give Smith Rowe a chance in his preferred central attacking position and not piss Ozil off even more than he already is!

Attack: Nelson, Martinelli, Balogun

Lacazette remains out with an ankle injury and isn’t due back until October so Aubameyang absolutely HAS to be given the night off tomorrow. He should be sat at home with his feet up watching the game on a dodgy stream.

Unfortunately that leaves us with few senior options up front. Martinelli could play through the middle but he’s more suited to the wing. Therefore, I hope Emery dips into the academy squad and gives a youngster a chance.

Tyreece John-Jules and Folarin Balogun both trained with the first team today so could be in the squad. Balogun is probably in the best form as his double against Wolves on Friday took his tally to 6 goals in 6 games [plus 4 assists] this season so I’d give him a start tomorrow.

Saka would ordinarily have started in this kind of game but he’s started in Arsenal’s last two matches so he may be on the bench. Pepe will also be rested so Nelson should be recalled after not featuring against Villa.

This is the starting eleven I hope we’ll see from Arsenal:

football formations

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