Everyone will be expecting another goal fest this Wednesday when Arsenal host Reading in the League Cup, like that of 2012, except Arsenal of course. The astonishing 7-5 turnaround that Arsenal pulled off that year is still the record highest score in League Cup history along with a 6-6 draw in 2014, when Dagenham played Brentford.
Considering Arsenal are very well placed in the league table at level points with league leaders Manchester City and still in contention for FA Cup and Champions League, League Cup might not be the top priority for the Gunners. Arsene Wenger has often used the competition to give the youngsters a run-out and the same is likely to happen again.
As far as stats are concerned, Reading have lost all 13 of their previous meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, while the Gunners have lost their last 2 home games in the League Cup. They have, however, never lost 3 in a row at home in the competition before.
With Wenger already stating that Kieran Gibbs will be captaining the side, a young and inexperienced side is expected to play. However, Olivier Giroud is expected to play alongside the likes of Chuba Akpom, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding and Jeff Reine-Adelaide. Lucas Perez is expected to start after his inspiring performance in the Champions League.
Arsenal are of course without Aaron Ramsey for the game, who has returned from injury but is not fully fit. Santi Cazorla is also expected to stay out.
Reading is expected to start with a relatively strong squad though League is not their first priority as well. With Jaap Sam as their manager, he would surely want to make a point tonight. They have not had the best of starts to their Championship campaign with just 6 wins in their opening 14 games. They are currently placed 8th in the league with 22 points.
Reading FC will be without right-back Chris Gunter, who is suspended after a yellow card and they might not want to play centre forward Yann Kermorgant, who has already seen 4 yellow cards this season.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Ospina; Gibbs, Holding, Gabriel, Debuchy; Elneny, Coquelin; Chamberlain, Adelaide, Perez; Giroud.
Reading (4-1-2-3) – Jaakkola; Obita, Blackett, Moore, Watson; Kelly; Swift, Quinn; Mendes, Samuel, Harriott.
Arsenal- Olivier Giroud is expected to score. Chamberlain, who got a Champions League goal last midweek, is a threat up front. Lucas Perez got two assists in the Champions League too and could create problems.
Reading- Chelsea’s academy system brought up John Swift would be a key player for Reading. The midfielder has already bagged 4 goals and 3 assists this season.
Arsenal FC @ 1.25
Draw @ 6.50
Reading FC @ 14.00
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