Confirmed Arsenal team to take on Liverpool in EFL Cup clash

The teams are out for tonight’s EFL Cup first-leg clash between Arsenal and Liverpool at Anfield, with Chelsea already having beaten Tottenham to reach the final of the competition.

Manchester City have won each of the last four editions of the competition, but the now-eliminated West Ham United managed to beat them in a penalty shoot-out, leaving one of three teams left to lift the trophy this time around.

It will be no mean feat for any of the teams, but with the Blues having already made the final they are the current favourites of course. Their form is far from bulletproof in recent months however and either of Liverpool or Arsenal could beat them, but we have 180+ minutes of football to get through before considering that task at Wembley.

We have the likes of Thomas Partey, Mo Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang absent due to their obligations at the ongoing AFCON, but we are also believed to have further personnel issues also, which is why we do not have a full-strength side out on show.

Will this XI be able to deny Liverpool the comfortable victory they will be looking for from the first-leg?


Tags EFL Cup Liverpool liverpool v arsenal


  1. Disgraceful Liverpool were allowed to postpone last weeks match when they were able to play against Shrewsbury a few days later!

    Look at their team today !

    1. No excuses, if we can’t beat ‘Pool regardless of the team they put out we don’t deserve it….end of story!

        1. If a better team on the day beats us then we don’t deserve to win/progress…the exact same if we are the better side on the day and win/progress then we deserve it.

          Not sure how anyone can disagree with that?

    2. As I expected our strongest possible side considering Afcons and illness. With 3 days between games we can afford to play the same side 3 games in a row. To be fair we are at an advantage because with no FA Cup and no Europe we will pretty much play the same basic 14/15 for the rest of the season. I think we go into the game on equal terms and am expecting a win or a draw at least.

    3. Liverpool defence is formidable but their mid and attack looks bland without Mane and Salah.
      I think we have the better attack so believe we can upset. Saka Laca Martinelli Nketiah as a group provide more threat by far than Minamoto + Firminho. Jota is the one we need to contain.
      Nketiah to open the scoring. Liv 2 Arsenal 5

      1. FF, YOU ARE OBVOIUSLY AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES. Try reality sometime, even though you will find it painful!

        1. @jon.. 5:2 win away at Liverpool is indeed a fairy tale. But anything can happen in football.
          I have a feeling that we will knock Liverpool out

    1. Chambers is nowhere near quick enough to deal with the pace of Liverpool forwards. Chambers got completely dominated last time he played in that position vs. Liverpool BAD IDEA

  2. We should’ve fielded more fringe players and youngsters, because the NLD is much more important than this match. I hope the players take it easy and avoid injuries/ fatigue

    1. With only two recognised midfielders, this looks an attacking side with Lacca in the number 10 role I assume.Personally I would have played Tavares to man mark Arnold who creates more than any other Liverpool player.After his nightmare against Forest,I’m pretty sure the young left back would have been up for such a challenge.Their is a lack of creativity in the Liverpool midfield and without Mane and Salah I feel we can at least get a draw tonight.

      1. I also prefer Tavares for this match, because we’ll need Tierney to play against Spurs

        As for the CAM and the RW, we could’ve played Salah-Eddine and Hutchinson. It’d be disastrous if Lacazette gets injured in today’s game

    2. The NLD is very important. We have to bear Spurs away. They will be motivated and would want to prove a point.
      Tonight match will be very demanding on our players though.
      This is a chance to win a silverware.
      A win against Liverpool and Spurs will be lovely.

      1. If we lose today, we just miss a League Cup trophy as usual. But if we lose the NLD, we’d likely not able to finish fourth

  3. Ødegaard positive Covid.
    So likely going to miss the game against Spurs then. Very big miss, but hopefully ESR is fit enough to replace him and we repeat the performance we had at the Emirates.
    Sunday’s game to me has always been my focus for a while now.
    Massive massive game in the hunt for top four.
    Though Spurs will have some very rough away games as the season goes. I can’t help but feel it’s really important we win on Sunday.

    Regarding tonight’s lineup, if Nketiah really can’t contribute anything tonight then he should be shipped off for free.
    I’ve stood behind him for a while now, but he’s longer a kid, neither is he in the same category as Patino, Omari and co.
    He’s playing more and more with the big boys, if he does nothing tonight then please let him go this Jan.
    Expecting a tough game, but COYG.
    Let’s get something out of this game.

  4. The bench is awful and sorry to be pessimistic but I just cant see us getting anything out of this game. I so hope I’m wrong

  5. Don’t care a hoot about this game. My attention is on the,NLD in particular and the PL and our top four aspirations.
    I just hope we can have more of the absent players available for Sunday; and maybe a new midfield player in

  6. Bierith he could b th future nketiah I don’t care how many tap ins he’s scored he’s gone if not in January the summer play the Young dane

  7. Not sure what the issue is, as we have just as many, if not more, regular starters on the pitch as Pool…in fact, there’s no reason why we can’t get the victory, unless the tactics chosen are counter-intuitive to the lineup selected, as Pool are missing far more prominent players than us…to be missing both Mane and Salah is immense…MA needs to grab some balls, press the living sh** out of Pool and force them into a game which requires them to score to win…if we try to rollout the same defender heavy sideways-passing borefest, like at NF, we’ll likely get schooled, as our lineup has a myriad of defensive holes that will get exposed eventually if we’re inviting pressure

    1. Oh dear.

      I don’t think Xhaka had much choice as regards that challenge. His momentum had already taken him.

  8. Constant Liverpool pressure. Matter of time until we buckle by the look of it unless we can keep the ball and improve our passing.

    1. I thought the press looked quite good for the first few minutes(lol)…it’s difficult to press effectively if you have Laca and Eddie up top, as one’s too slow and the other lacks the necessary positional awareness

  9. I don’t understand our formation?? It gives Liverpool’s defence time on the ball and gives Liverpool the numbers in the midfield when attacking. Laca and Eddie both in no mans land

    Hopefully it’s adjusted soon.

  10. I can only laugh….looking forward to hear the new set of excuses for the forever slow and out of position Xhaka

    While having no depth 😂

    1. I’m tired of listening to them .. their knowledge of the game beggars belief … that gai guy is hilarious in a deeply dark comedic sense …

      1. if only he was trying to be funny RW…he actually believes the crap he’s been peddling for all these years

  11. How many suns are there?

    Take Saka, Tierney, Martinelli and Laca off for the NLD now….pointless being on

  12. The ref couldn’t get the red card out of his pocket quick enough. I’m not saying it wasn’t red but I honestly dont think it would have been given down the other end

    1. you can’t be serious???? besides the dangerous play potential, he was the last man too!!!! give your head a shake PA

      1. I didn’t say it wasn’t a red card did I and I’m not making excuses for him. Try reading the post bob it does help

    2. I remember Oliver letting Jonny Evans off earlier in the season but of course he always seems to be reffing Liverpool games and always gives decisions to them. No excuses for Xhaka though let’s the team down over and over again.

    1. I don’t think Xhaka had much choice as regards that challenge.

      His momentum just couldn’t warrant an attempt to head the ball. That motion seemed very natural.
      It (his momentum) had already taken him.

      And I think Jota actually ran into his foot.

        1. so you think he should have been given a mulligan because he found a “new” way to sewer the team with a sending off???

          1. Definitely not.

            I just think the personal hate Xhaka is going to receive after this challenge won’t be justified.

            It usually was on the other previous occasions though.

              1. Okay. My point in a nutshell is;

                “He was last man. This would never be a yellow situation.” – @Bob

                So the hate/anger Xhaka is receiving is really not justified.
                6 or 7/10 players would reach for the ball in the same way Xhaka did, because of the speed he was moving at.

                1. you just can’t seem to help yourself…you’re on the bad side of a losing bet regardless of your attempt to explain away your obvious brain fart

                  1. I don’t think you get my point.

                    But gooners all
                    Let’s hey ho into the sunset elbow to elbow.

  13. We should sell Xhaka this month. I have seen enough of his poor decision making to lady me a lifetime

  14. Now we have 0 chance of keep Nketiah. Can’t even get game time in a cup because of untouchable Xhaka’s usual stupid antics.

    1. should just be one. at this point extend it until his contract runs out. i think we’re all tired of him letting the club down.

  15. If Xhaka was a player the MA didn’t love to death, he would have been ousted ages ago….

    Imagine being so naive that you don’t think MA has double standards for certain players.

      1. Yeah. I’m not blaming Xhaka. He’s donkey-brained and nothing can change that.

        Its MA’s fault for not selling him and keeping faith on him like a total idiot.

  16. If I was eddie after been taken off I’d go straight to xhaka a plant him one😳he’s off to Palace anyway

    1. Exactly Declan.

      I replied something similar to GunneRay ‘s comment.

      Xhaka’s red cards are usually very cynical. This wasn’t.
      I’m not angry at all at him. I always am when he is red carded.

      It was a very fair attempt to go for the ball. The circumstances were just against him (him being the last man and the direction Jota was running).

    2. Declan there’s nothing in the rules about where a player is looking when committing a clear foul as the last man….sorry mate

  17. What is it with Anfield, why does it always go Pete Tong there?

    After 5 years of Granit Xhaka, can we please finally get rid??

  18. Was that Xhaka foul a straight red or a yellow card offence?
    I have seen some refs give a yellow card for that

      1. @ Bob. Honestly. I’m just imagining.
        I am just tired of Xhaka costing us games.
        Was hoping the ref would have be lenient and given a yellow card.
        But Xhaka, what is wrong with him?
        He keeps letting the team down

      2. I think @skills1000 meant a yellow instead given in other parts of the pitch for a similar challenge.

  19. The problem with Xhaka is that he is slow, so to catch up with people he fouls or is late and so gets a yellow or red card. Could we please buy a midfield with skill and pace. Nobody is surprised to see Xhaka let the team down…yet again.

  20. Xhaka is stupid but the best time to talk about bias is the time bias wasn’t involced. Xhakas red against City that resulted in a 5-0 loss, he won the ball, he went in with 1 leg at point of challenge other knee was bent properly. In the convening weeks since we have seen double figure of challenges like Xhaka that escaped punishment. Google Pogbas against Southampton. It earnt United a point as they directly scored from it. Again google it, it was not a lot of hour after Xhaka. Var ruled it nothing doing. Bias exists accept it and fight it or we never recover. Since then there our double figures of “xhaka reckless” that escaped red. As I said best time to bring it up is when Xhaka got sent of legit because there isn’t passionate bias involved.

      1. Not the question. Question did double figures fouls happen like or mostly worse after Xhakas against city happen and did they all escape punishment. Did they effect games? You dont have to like Xhaka to understand this. Again google pogba missing the ball shows wolves so I might of got that wrong in which case United gained more than I thought. As said start of this pogba assisted 2 next game (think it was newcastle where score flattered them on gameplay but Pogba had 2 assists when he should be suspended.)

        1. if you want to get into the real argument liverpool do that to us its yellow all day but can’t prove that. Can prove my other assertion so we’ll stick with that.

          1. for those that are confused that are not allowed to red for penalty. It’s double punishment they can only red if it’s deemed dangerous. Was anyone hurt? Could anyone have been hurt worse if the fouled players body position was slightly different (in that argument only xhaka so………)

    1. cant even find on google anymore might of got confused with wolves and they won that game which only makes it worse because its 2-3 points then. I do know he assisted 2 goals the next game in a win he should of been suspended for. Direct rivals. Name a time that happened for us this season (it didn’t.)

    2. your not even arsenal fan, i have zero time for you. Your here to sow disconnect and quite effective at it but your not arsenal. So kindly don’t reply to me, I ignore you.

      1. I can slow it down for ………… y……..o……u…….a……..r……………e……n……………..o………….t…………..a………………..n…………a…………………r……s…………………….e……….n..a………l……….f…….a…….n. Using too many complicated words for you, sorry.

        1. Not lightly either said it once to Reggie when I was way to drunk and he rightly called me on it and a rightly apologised. Still don’t agree with everything Reggie says but he’s real and I was out of order with that comment. Your not your negative, every time without fail including wins and today 0-0 away to Liverpool with 10 was a win to from any fan perspective. Pundits can say Liverpool will go through but they are lying through their teeth they played 11 v 10 at home, how does that change 11 v 11 away?

          1. Nothing to do with Lynn but further to the pundits what would they say if it was 0-0 and Liverpool had been down to 10. You know what they’d say so why?

        2. are you actually trying to say that “you’re not an Arsenal fan” or “you aren’t an Arsenal fan”??? good god man, once in a blue moon try reading what you’ve written before sending it out into the real world

            1. your writing would suggest otherwise…btw I did applaud the players for putting in a good performance today, especially considering the circumstances…of course, you probably didn’t see that as you were too busy looking for any excuse to get yourself riled up

              1. I read everything also previously read everything else you write. If your claim my 1st comment was confusing go ahead, it’s not. Wasn’t get riled up, I called you out difference.

                1. but….. but………. but only ever positive comments, which obviously is a way of making the positive negative. Tonight proud of the boys but………….. Refer you to your summer comments all the buys were bad, Ramsdale in particular was awful.

                2. I lived by my comments I got here and commented to anyone that would hear it that we need to wait to nov/dec to judge arteta. That was my argument you amongst others were against. I won that argument, I haven’t made a new one because its not needed. You and bunch other have tried to move the goalpost but you were all wrong. It’s not a debate you just were.

                3. shiny objects little guy…I’ve been at this gig a long time, as this club has been in a state of disarray for well over a decade, so if you think you can show up on your souped-up tricycle and think that due to our present positioning in the League things are all but settled, you’re sadly mistaken…I know you might not want to believe it, but my criticism doesn’t come without considerable thought, whereas your contributions appear to be little more than the ramblings of a half-cut fan who placed a bunch of words in a bucket then threw them at the closest wall

  21. Perhaps we should look on the bright side, He won’t be playing in the NLD so he can’t f**k that up.

  22. BREAKING: Arthur Melo has landed in Luton airport ahead of a move to Arsenal.
    He is apparently still in his pyjamas as masked men entered his house and whisked him off in a black van with tinted windows


    1. 😅😅😅.
      If we can’t get too midfielders, we should recall Torrera and Guendouzi from their loan spells.
      The NLD Derby is a must win match

    1. It was a resilient performance SueP. Even created a few half chances. The goal after 90 must be to stay in it for the second leg.

  23. Xhaka wasn’t available during no more red campaign haha 😂
    IMO, that was a goal bound opportunity, am not so disappointed with the red am just upset we are disadvantaged again
    Where is Tomi, ESR and ode

    1. i mean, every time we drop points or lose out on silverware/ or a UCL spot it is the managers fault at this point. i dont blame xhaka. these managers keep playing him because they think he will change. and the positive aspects of his games do not outweigh what a total liability he can be. It simply doesn’t. There are far superior midfielders in every top 5 league, so it doesnt make sense to have to deal with Xhaka’s red cards. Spend some money and get a midfielder that isnt a total wreck….

    2. And they were willing to actually give us money 🤣 would’ve taken a pack of gum and a Coca-Cola for him.

  24. Am really fed up of this red card nonsense going on at this club. I thought it was a Wenger thing but it seems it’s in our DNA. Big game? Red card guaranteed! It’s insane.

  25. We started nervously, must’ve been because of Anfield’s atmosphere. Liverpool’s passes in the first fifteen minutes were more creative and accurate than ours

    Xhaka has made three fatal mistakes this season and I believe his last one was intentional, because there was no way he didn’t see Jota in front of him. I think he really wanted to leave, but Arsenal’s offer was too good to be turned down

    We could use our U-21 RB and move Chambers to the DM position. I’m surprised we let Akinola leave, unless Arsenal plans to recruit two DMs

    1. We should recall Torrera from Fiorentina.
      we should bring back Torrera ASAP to play in midfield till after the AFCON

      1. We might have to pay a few millions to cancel his loan and I don’t think he’s athletic enough to play in EPL

        It’s cheaper to cancel Azeez’s or Akinola’s loans. Or promote Henry-Francis

  26. AMN was not given a consistent run in the midfield. the few tims he played in midfield, he did well he did well.
    Since we signed Xhaka, we have not played Champions league football.
    Your midfield is key if you want to win titles

  27. No great midfielder will sign for us while Xhaka is here….MA will never bench him when available. As long as he’s here, he stops us improving. Not his fault though, he doesn’t pick the team.

    What some people will think I said: “Xhaka is the worst player on earth”

    What I actually said: “We could definitely improve on Xhaka”

  28. Out of the Spurs game.
    What sort of footballer is this FGS!!
    How can you constantly let your team down?
    He’s lost me for the second time and there’s no going back.
    I’m done fighting and defending him.
    Yes he’s vital to our gameplay, but we better look for better footballers to bring in.
    What midfield choices do we have for the Spurs game?
    Can we sign Wilshere tonight and register him tomorrow for the Spurs game please?
    We have until midday tomorrow to submit list of names.
    Sign Wilshere tonight please, because I don’t see a way out of this he’ll Xhaka just put us in

    1. Eddie would you try take players like Saka/Laca off early for the NLD or leave them on and try hold on for a draw here?

      1. I’ll take them off if I was Arteta but I understand still trying to keep the little balance we have here.
        Xhaka has made everything worse, I doubt there’s any decision in this game Arteta will make that will look wise.

    2. thanks for being reasonable Eddie. Everyone has their breaking point. xhaka’s positives just dont outweigh the many many times he lets the whole club down. There are many more midfielders we can look into to replace this guy. I really pray this is the last season we see him in an arsenal shirt. please come and take him Mourinho….

      1. I was never a big fan when he arrived here, but it was when he started improving I saw it and acknowledged his contribution to us.
        At this point he’s lost me again

  29. Remember just one thing. During the time Xhaka has been at the club we have been slow, predictable and going downhill. Coincidence? Who on earth at the club did not see that relying on Xhaka during the African Cup would be a disaster. A bunch of overpaid fools.

  30. And what is more, even if we get away with it tonight Xhaka has let us down for another 3 games. Get rid of him and buy a class midfield. This is all too pathetically predictable.

  31. I can’t watch such unfair game anymore. Arsenal have to sign at least two players soon, otherwise they’d likely finish below eighth

    1. I’ll take that comment with a large grain of salt considering that you just came to the obvious realization that Xhaka wanted to head to Rome last summer…was the open and very public flirting between Jose and Xhaka not enough to convince you???

        1. that wasn’t what you inferred in your previous post…that said, I did agree with the notion that there’s no chance, minus Xhaka being blind in one eye, that he didn’t see Jota, as he wasn’t tucked in beside him, he was actually ahead of him

  32. Perhaps it’s time to give Jack Wilshere a contract till. Don’t know if we have enough numbers in midfield for the NLD.

  33. Liverpool look very flat without Salah and Mane butvany team in the world would miss them.

    Red card forcing us to sit deep almost a blessing in disguise.

    Martinelli putting in a smashing performance, won the ball back so many times already. Saka as well…

    1. agree PJ…sitting deep without having their best up front allows us to conserve energy without being suitably punished…that said, I’m worried about the energy exerted when countering, as I’m sure Saka and Marts have logged considerable mileage…regardless of the result, it doesn’t make Xhaka any less of a clown for his continued recklessness and stupidity, especially with our present roster issues

  34. The funny thing is we basically started with ten men because xhaka is the worst midfielder in the whole wide world anyway🤣🤣

    1. you’re honestly right. nothing really changed when xhaka left. thats how much of a nothing player he is.

  35. this is where the real test begins, as I’m rather surprised that Kloop didn’t replace one of his DM/CMs earlier…I guess that’s a nod to our ability to pose a threat on the counter

  36. We can win and there is a 2nd leg but we can win tonight. Beleive, back the team unlike Forest they have done us proud. Still possible.

  37. thankful that Origi is on the shelf, as he would have provided them with a dangerous box presence against our 10 men

    1. it’s in the rulebook. Liverpool and United must always get at least 5 added minutes…. But honestly, I dont even ask anymore when we play certain sides. It’s pretty obvious what the message is for certain teams and certain games.

  38. If Leno had made the 2/3 big mistakes Ramsdale has made tonight he would’ve been absolutely slaughtered!

    No I’m not saying Leno is better or should be no.1 but it’s simply true.

    1. You can’t compare Ramsdale to Leno.
      Do you the self believe the defense has when Ramsdale is in goal.

    2. Unlikely. We drew. He was slaughtered when he made those mistakes AND we lost. The fact is Ramsdale has presence, so he can make the same number of mistakes and his influence compensates. All the defenders in front of Leno look nervous and make more mistakes so we lose more often even if the number of mistakes are the same.

      (I will give Leno this: He didn’t have the White/Gabriel partnership ahead of him)

    1. sorry away leg 0-0, i meant we’re home next time 11 v 11. Less said about the delay the better. Liverpool returned alot of “false positives” before our scheduled leg.

  39. still have a chance! the players who played today should be very pleased with themeselves. Liverpool did nothing all match. Resilience that will be needed this weekend as well.

    1. 👍 Love wiping that smirk off their faces!
      LFC – lateral flow cheats!
      Let’s finish it and head to Wembley

  40. Big ups to the players for getting something out of another Xhaka sewer job…for all those who talked about how this team needs some veteran leadership, of which I agree, considering the youthful initiative, please don’t use this argument as a way to justify Xhaka’s presence in the squad, as he’s clearly not the kind of individual you want setting the example

      1. Some sow discord however they know how. Limited options currently but Xhaka exists real lynn is here to sow the discord. He was here start of the season on Arteta, summer business, ramsdale was useless and pointless signing. Don’t take the bait. Team drew 0-0 away to liverpool with 10 men, advantage us at home 11v11

        1. jog on mate, my words are how i type every time hasn’t changed. My intellect is what it is no one here needs to know that (won’t help you), although thanks for advertising. You have the bar set to discredit me which will fail because I actually love arsenal so im not playing the games you are…… again jog on.

  41. Well done to the boys!! There’s definitely a lot of progress in this team. We’ll done to the Manager and his team. Some folks on here will be gutted we didn’t lose.

  42. Can I send a message to Aki who is Arsenal fan I wrongly messaged someone ages back because I thought they were a relative of the Aki I knew of previously. The Aki I’m talking is from/lives in Hertfordshire and I was in a crash NYE and he went out his way to pull up beside me and provide dashcam for my boss whose car I was driving. It didn’t make difference grand scheme because the girl eventually pulled up and my boss and her have been sorting it out ever since but he still sent my boss the footage which showed her pulling out wrong lane on me which made a difference for me, it backed what I was saying. Want to shout him out as a legend here and if he does not frequent these forums if someone knows him by name if they could pass it on, Aki hertforshire/essex younger brothers too. I got my own car stolen a day later so new year has not been any better but it would of been a lot worse without Aki. So shout out to the legend that is Aki. Thank you Aki and now every other Arsenal fan knows if they meet Aki at a game he’s a stand up guy.

    1. For more context he pulled up a good 10-15 minutes before her and provided everything. He wasn’t involved, he didn’t need to, he did anyway. Checked I was ok etc. Legend.

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