Arsene Wenger has already given us some advance warning about what sort of Arsenal team we are likely to see lined up against tonight’s visitors to the Emirates stadium for the quarter-final of the EFL cup, as reported on the Arsenal website.
So the Southampton manager will already know that it will be Carl Jenkinson at right back and the Brazilian defender Gabriel filling one of the central defensive positions. I do not think it will be too hard for him to work out the other one either, as Wenger will be keen to give some of his hardest worked and most important players a little break which means that Laurent Koscielny is unlikely to start.
I assume that it will be young Rob Holding alongside Gabriel and I would not be surprised to see the boss rotate his left backs either and bring Kieran Gibbs in after Monreal faced Bournemouth on Sunday, but that would mean a complete change to the Arsenal back four.
The Saints are no mugs and even though Claude Puel has also had a lot of games to get through with Southampton being in the Europa League I expect them to see this trophy as more important than Wenger does. With Giroud out through injury and Alexis Sanchez probably due for a rest the Gunners will be much changed at both ends of the pitch but is this too much?
Will Wenger change the whole defence, do you think, and would that be too big a risk?