Arsenal, like other big teams, have their eyes on winning trophies, and they are still active in the title race for many competitions, including the EFL Cup. Arsenal have it in them to win the title, and at present they need to focus on their quarterfinal clash against Southampton at Emirates on Wednesday.
Arsenal are just a win away from the semifinals spot in the EFL Cup, but for that they need to dump Southampton out of the competition. With some important clashes coming up in December for Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger might make some major changes in the team, and maintain a mix of youngsters and experienced players to help the club reach the semifinals. Hull City and Liverpool have booked their slot.
Wenger should be confident of a win even if he puts a relatively inexperienced team as they have delivered earlier in the competition. They have comprehensively beaten Nottingham Forest and Reading to set up this date with Southampton, who are a much superior side that their last two opponents.
It remains to be seen how the team will cope without Sanchez, who might not feature against Southampton and given some rest. Lucas Perez is going to be an important player for Arsenal in this quarterfinals clash. Not only their offence, Wenger needs to get his defensive strategies correct as well.
Goalkeeper Emi Martinez has been impressive under the bar whenever he has got a chance to play and he will hope for a clean sheet against Southampton. Martinez has already set his sights in playing in the EFL Cup final too.
"The boss told me that I would play in the League Cup at the beginning of the season and I trust him. I'm playing every game so I'm really looking forward to Southampton. We're in the quarter-finals and it's a big game for us at the Emirates. We want to go to Wembley, we want to go all the way," Arsenal's official website quoted Wenger as saying.
"I dreamt of [winning] it the first day. When we played Forest away I thought, 'If we beat Forest then we're one step closer to Wembley'. We've only got three more games now so I'm really looking forward to playing Southampton at home."
With Arsenal not expected to play their best XI, Southampton might fancy their chances against Arsenal, and reach the semifinals. Southampton come into this fixture with an impressive win over Everton in the PL, and will hope to carry that form against Arsenal.
Southampton will also hope to take revenge for their narrow 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the Premier League. Though this might be a different competition, their last loss should inspire them to shine against Arsenal.
Manager Claude Puel believes Arsenal are going to be a tough team at the Emirates, but then we are into the quarterfinals of the competition, and none of the matches should be easy.
"To win this competition it's important to win tomorrow. Every game is very difficult and in different competitions for the moment for us the most important is to stay qualified in different competitions and we will see this in the second part the possibilities to win something," Southampton's official website quoted Puel as saying.
"For the moment it is important to see this game against Arsenal, keep a good concentration and to have a good performance and after we will see."
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Arsenal vs Southampton EFL Cup Quarterfinal is scheduled for 7.45 pm GMT (1.15 am IST, 2.45 am ET) start. TV and Live streaming options can be found below.
India: TV: Ten 3. Live streaming: Ten Sports live.
UK: No Coverage
Middle East, US, Australia: TV: BeIN Sports . Live streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Brazil: ESPN + Brasil
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 5. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.