This idea of mine could well come back to bite me if Arsenal end up going out of the EFL cup tonight, but as well as having the advantage of the quarter-final with Southampton being played at the Emirates stadium, I feel that the much vaunted success of the south coast club’s academy could actually help the Gunners to get through.
We already know that Arsene Wenger is planning to make quite a few changes to the Arsenal side for tonight’s game and there could well be a few players from our own academy involved, but the fact that the visitors do se well with their own youth system is likely to mean that Claude Puel makes a lot of changes himself.
The Saints do not have the same strength in depth to their squad as we do and they are not used to playing so many games as they have done this season with a place in the group stage of the Europa League. So while our manager can turn to experienced players like Gabriel, Gibbs, Lucas Perez, Ramsey and more, Puel may feel that he must rely on his youngsters.
Like I say, this could turn out to be bad for Arsenal if we lose to a bunch of kids, but if Puel does start with an inexperienced and much changed side it should give us the advantage. Will we make the most of it though?