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

    anyway, exited to see this game.

  2. 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 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. 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. 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. 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)

  3. 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. 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!

  4. 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. 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!

  5. Maybe it’s 4-2-3-1:

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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. 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

  9. 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. 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 .

  10. 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

      1. 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. 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.

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

      1. 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?

  13. 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. 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.

      1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

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

    My MOM? PEPE

  16. 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. 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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