Arsenal will lock horns with Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday night, hoping to pick up a win in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup competition. The Gunners will be heading into the contest on the back of a disappointing 1-0 loss to Championship side Nottingham Forest, whereas the Reds recorded a 4-1 win against Shrewsbury on January 9.
Granit Xhaka missed the FA Cup clash after testing positive for Covid-19, whereas Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu were out with minor injuries. However, Arteta has confirmed that their availability in midweek would depend on further assessments.
“Again, it depends how they evolve. They were injured.” – The Spaniard stated.
“They could not play – the same as Gabi who was suspended – and I don’t know. We have to see in the next few days how they are.”
Besides, Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are currently at the African Cup of Nations.
Mikel Arteta will probably opt for the 4-2-3-1 formation with several tweaks from the last game. In attack, Alexandre Lacazette might get the nod over Eddie Nketiah, whereas Kieran Tierney looks likely to make his way back into the starting eleven.
4-2-3-1 Arsenal Predicted Lineup Vs Liverpool
Aaron Ramsdale will return to operate between the sticks for the upcoming away encounter. The England shot-stopper will hope to put up a strong performance and secure a clean sheet on Thursday.
Given Gabriel’s suspension, Rob Holding will continue to form the centre-half partnership with Ben White at the heart of Arsenal’s backline.
Kieran Tierney is a guaranteed starter at the left-back position, whereas Cedric Soares will fill in on the other flank as the right-back. The duo would be looking to stretch the opposition backline and create meaningful chances for the front-men.
Albert Sambi Lokonga and 18-year-old Charlie Patino will fulfil the holding midfield positions, with the former occupying a more defensive role. Martin Odegaard will slot into the attacking midfield role.
Odegaard will be accompanied by Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka and on either side, playing on the left and right-wing, respectively.
Alexandre Lacazette will lead the line for the visitors against Liverpool. The French striker will fancy his chances of finding the back of the net when he faces off against the Liverpool defence that has conceded nine goals in their last five matches across all competitions.
Eddie Nketiah will have to settle for a place on the bench, but he might be called upon in the latter stages of the game if needed.