Image: Confirmed Arsenal team for EFL Cup clash with Sunderland

The teams are out for this evening’s EFL Cup clash with Sunderland with nine changes from the Arsenal XI that played at the weekend.

While Folarin Balogun will be a talking point in the starting line-up, Charlie Patino’s inclusion on the bench is one that will likely get tongues wagging also.

This is an exciting line-up whether it is a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or a 4-1-4-1 formation, with plenty of firepower in the attacking third.

Which of these will you be looking to impress, and potentially earn himself extra first-team minutes this season?


Tags arsenal v sunderland EFL Cup Sunderland


  1. OxInTheBox says:

    Would rather Saka not be in the squad, and White on the beach. Other than that, its fine.

  2. Gunner23 says:

    It could be a 4222
    cdric – white – holdini – tavarez
    elneny – odegard
    pepe – smith
    -nketiah – balogun

    anyway, exited to see this game.

    1. Goonersia says:

      It could be 4-1-4-1

      Cedric White Holding Tavares
      Pepe Smith Odegaard Nketiah

    2. Declan says:

      Could be 4111111 😊

  3. PJ-SA says:

    Proud of MA….putting Xhaka on the bench must have been quite an emotional rollercoaster 🤣

    If Eddie plays CF and Flo on the wing that’ll be proof that MA doesn’t want Balogun here. There’s no logical reason for playing a player that’s leaving in the preferred position of a player the manager himself has called “the future”.

    Some very rusty players out there, hope they make it through the game alright.

    1. I says:

      I expect Arteta to put his players where they can perform positively not according to what has signed and who is leaving. This is a professional game.

      1. PJ-SA says:

        As I said, no logical reason like you’ve just proven. Very short term thinking there, pretty normal for some fans.

        Considering the absolute minimal chances Balogun get to play any minutes, if he is going to be our future CF the few chances he gets should be in that position…I like Eddie but if he’s not part of the future plans I don’t see the issue with him playing wing.

        1. I says:

          The future you are talking about is subject to change. Balogun can either succeed or get sold like some of the other young players who couldn’t make it. My point is that the result should count more than the contract situation of players.

          1. John says:

            When you smart you take everything in consideration. If giving some more minutes yo help aomeone that might develop extend, xan be smart/totally worth
            Managing is not thinking about next game but to a greater picture which MA does not seem to do (cf willian, auba, mustafi back and so on) when playing elnent gor example. There has been good signs (white ramsdale) but it is just that they werr alteady better tham what we have +except maybe the ramsdale surprise)

    2. Sue says:

      Emotional roller coaster 🤣 you crack me up, PJ-SA

  4. Adajim says:

    Am thinking 442 or 433

  5. NY_Gunner says:

    So much for controlling the midfield 🤔

  6. Sean Williams says:

    Not sure why Nketiah is playing as he is leaving. Shame they couldn’t start Patino, but I guess it’s an expected line up. I’m really hoping Folarin can turn it on as he’s next in line to be a young gun knocking on the door..

    1. towny254 says:

      Sean Williams Nketiah Excellent just scored Hat Trick

  7. Dan kit says:

    Easy 8-0 victory

  8. Quantic Dream says:

    Is Maitland-Niles injured or something????

    1. Sue says:

      He’s been ill apparently, QD

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        hello! @Sue

        1. Sue says:

          Hey QD 🙂 Hope you’re well..
          Hope it’s a good game with Balogun finding the back of the net and….
          Merry Christmas to you!

          1. Quantic Dream says:

            Merry Christmas! Balogun has wasted some fine chances.. he needs a loan.

  9. fairfan says:

    A chance to play the reserves in a game they can’t mess up with the stars all able to come from the bench. Difficult to take the League cup seriously really. Like the Nations Cup the Conference League and pre season “Trophies” May be there should be a new “bench warmer” league who play the same day as the first team play. IJS

    1. Declan says:

      Winning the league cup is another way to get into Europe.

    2. PJ-SA says:

      We could smash the Black Cats, still need to take it seriously and respect the opposition.

      1. Stephanie says:

        Declan and PJ-SA 👍👍👍

    3. Perry ames says:

      You really talk a load of bollocks and so obviously not a fan

    4. Ozziegunner says:

      fairfan, I wasn’t aware that Arsenal was so successful, that the Club could turn their noses up at any competition?
      The League Cup is good enough for Manchester City to win, but Arsenal shouldn’t bother about competing!

  10. Sue says:

    Chambers has covid

  11. gotanidea says:

    Maybe it’s 4-2-3-1:

    ……………………….. Leno
    Soares . White . Holding . Tavares
    …………. Elneny ……. Odegaard
    Pepe ……. Smith-Rowe ……. Nketiah
    ……………………. Balogun

  12. Pirate Dandy says:

    I’m happy with Arteta taking Nketiah to the wing.

    I couldn’t stand watching him play before. Now Nketiah literally changes the game when he comes on.

    Good one Arteta.

  13. PJ-SA says:

    Poor Leno

    Sure he’s been desperate to play behind our best 4 defenders and be allowed to clear the ball 😂 now he gets Holding and Cedric…poor guy

    1. Sk says:

      Regardless of the opposition…this is a thoroughly motm performance by Pepe

  14. Pirate Dandy says:

    Wow. I just noticed we now have a decent ‘second’ team.

    We’re a becoming a big team again. Arteta is doing some seriously good work – this is almost quantifying the good work he’s done.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Pro poacher, ball always ends up by him

    2. Phenom says:

      People should stop hyping Balogun!

      He’s nowhere near the level of Nketiah!!!

      1. Sue says:

        Guilty as charged 😄 Wanted to see him tonight as he’s been fantastic this season

        1. Phenom says:


          1. Sue says:

            But tonight was one to forget 🤣

      2. PJ-SA says:

        Difficult to judge someone that never plays to be fair, also not a wing at all….Eddie is leaving so get used to supporting Flo

  15. SueP says:

    Has Holding been using Regaine? Didn’t recognise the Barnet

    One nil!

    1. PJ-SA says:

      😂 been hanging out with Rooney

  16. SueP says:

    That should have been a goal!
    What a pity

  17. SueP says:

    Neat goal

  18. PJ-SA says:

    Pepe always a goal threat….not sure why he doesn’t get minutes in the 1st team. Nice cross from Cederic!

    Would like to see Eddie and Flo swop, Balogun doesn’t look comfortable playing wing at all.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Gotta agree mate
      One of them players that for me gets me out of my seat when he gets on the ball
      Another player that wasn’t signed by the new regime so he does not get his chance even though his numbers over the last 2 years are better than what we are witnessing.
      Strange one ,maybe he will be another Martinelli or ESR where the player falls into the managers lap without him knowing it’s happened and then taking credit .

  19. Sue says:

    That wasn’t in the script!!!

  20. SueP says:


  21. PJ-SA says:

    For all of those that fans that basically attacked us for saying White isn’t that great and hasn’t been great 1v1….there we see another example again.

    Bring Saliba back and put him DM

  22. gotanidea says:

    Entertaining game. A League One team is enough to make our B team sweat

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Im glad we are getting a good test though.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Yeah, most of our squad rotation players seem rusty

      2. Sean Williams says:

        We know we haven’t got the best team out there. I hope we can get the job done. We need Laca or Martinelli out there.

        1. PJ-SA says:

          Flo and Eddie must change…Eddie can play wing well, Balo cant its that simple.

          Flo might not score, but it will bring better balance of the team.

    2. NY_Gunner says:

      That league 1team is unbeaten in 7 matches. Against our bench warmers, with the exception of ESR, Ode and White…IJS

      1. gotanidea says:

        Ah I thought Sunderland were pushovers

  23. RW1 says:

    Happy to see the back of Pepe nketiah balogun elneny .. all championship level .. might get 50m for lot if we r lucky .. can’t believe holding is better than saliba

  24. ken1945 says:

    When will Pepe be given the opportunity to play on the left?
    Every time he gets the ball, his body leans to the left…. surely his natural movement?

    ESR lost the ball for their goal and made no attempt to fight to win it back.

    Some good runs from Soares.

    Disappointed with Balogun so far and Nketiah showing him up.

    Leno with good distribution.

  25. Sue says:

    Beautiful finish

  26. Phenom says:

    9 goals in 9 EFL games.

    Eddie! Eddie!! Eddie!!!

    1. Sue says:

      The Nketiah Cup 🙂

  27. Adajim says:

    Arsenal are yet to concede from a corner in epl, what a turnaround

  28. Sue says:

    What a finish!!!!! Eddie take a bow

    1. Phenom says:


      How do you see Eddie?

      1. Sue says:

        It’s a tough one, Phenom. He’s phenomenal in this cup but it doesn’t always work for him in the league.. and I believe he’s rejected our contract offer?

        1. Phenom says:

          Dont worry Sue! will give him a call to sign da thing.

          Big ups Eddie, nice hat trick.

          1. Sue says:

            Good on you, Phenom 👌

  29. Angus says:

    Why’s is nketiah starting upfront? Cedrics useless. Balogun is well within his rights to leave because Arteta over looks him. Yawn. Got money on nketiah hattrick, fingers crossed.

    1. Angus says:

      Timing, happy days.

    2. Sue says:

      There you go, Angus 🙂

      1. Angus says:

        Thanks Sue, awesome! Got 7-1 and smith-rowe anytime to make it special 🙂 7-1 might be a reach but maybe ESR can get on the sheet.

    3. instrooments says:

      Congrats Angus on the nketiah hattrick

      1. Angus says:

        Thanks! 1st big bet I’ve had on arsenal all season. Worked out but switched up my opinion and backed ESR for 1st and anytime which left me sweating on the hattrick. Not sure why I did that but oh well. I’m up so happy days.

  30. SueP says:

    That was an absolutely brilliant effort
    Pepe and Nketiah! Top drawer!

  31. gotanidea says:

    Highly entertaining game from Arteta-ball and a masterclass from Nketiah. A striker lesson for Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli and Balogun

  32. ken1945 says:

    Brilliant brilliant Pepe!!!

  33. SueP says:

    I agree with the pundit
    Odegaard is blossoming

  34. NY_Gunner says:

    Charlie Patino on the pitch…Go show em what ya can do Young Gun.

    1. Sue says:


  35. SueP says:

    Well done young man!

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      He set up the assist for his goal…Priceless.

      1. SueP says:

        The future

  36. General says:

    I heard patino scored…… How do you rate him

  37. Sean Williams says:

    Charlie boy. Happy for the boy. Well done.

    1. instrooments says:

      So happy for him too..the future is bright…it seems the new decade would be all gunners soon… second team have been winning comfortably for months , now… impressive.

    2. Angus says:

      Me too!

  38. Angus says:

    Fantastic and a rare actual day off to enjoy it properly too! Perfect! Role on boxing day!

  39. ken1945 says:

    Nice ball from Xhaka – probably wasn’t seen by a lot of fans and what a night for Patino.

    My MOM? PEPE

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Good call Gooner. I thought Charlie made that pass to Pepe…

  40. Sean says:

    Pepe was what we all hoped he would be week in & week out consistently but hasnt happened as of yet but we all know he has it in his locker. If he starts to come good then we have a might attack on our hands.

    Pepe who has all the tools
    Ødegaard who is blossoming
    SmithRowe who oozes class
    Saka a little dynamite on the wing
    Martinelli ripping up the line

    Patino is a mini cesc, i have always mentioned in here he is something along with Balogun who hasnt taken his chance, needs a loan for abit to play at a higher level than u21s week in & week out.

    Nketiah again who has everything to succeed at Arsenal but having Pierre & Laca in front of him has made it impossible but now he may have hit a lil hot spot while Auba is out and will be away at AFCON.

    Great win into the semi final.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Pepe, needs to be given the opportunity by Arteta to show his wares. Pepe took today’s chance to play well and put in a very good performance, showing he is ready if required.

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