One way of looking at the EFL cup from an Arsenal point of view, with Southampton heading up to the Emirates stadium on Wednesday to fight it out with us for a place in the semi-final, is that it is a great chance of a trophy for the Gunners this season.
If we do beat the Saints this week it will put just a home and away clash away from a Wembley final and with big clubs like Chelsea and Man City already out then Arsenal are one of the strong favourites. The final comes nice and early as well and could give us a nice boost and then be out of the way with over two months of the Premier League still to go.
Another way of looking at the EFL cup is that it is an unwanted distraction and is down in fourth place on the list of priorities for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. We still have at least three more Champions League games to play and the FA cup games start soon after the turn of the year, while our regular injury problems and the desperate wish of the fans to challenge for the Premier League makes these league cup games and the timing of them in an already busy fixture list seem like a nuisance.
I am sure that the manager will have all this in mind and will be trying to weigh everything up to get the right balance, but how seriously do you think Arsenal should take this week’s cup clash? And how strong an Arsenal side do you think we should put out?