A chance to rotate, to give some of the new signings who haven't got too many minutes an opportunity to impress, while bringing in a few youngsters into play as well â€“ that will be the plan for Arsenal when they face Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup third round on Tuesday. Arsenal have had a few disastrous outings in the League Cup in previous years, so Wenger, while certain to make wholesale changes, will be wary of putting out a team filled with only youngsters.
After an iffy start to the season, the Gunners have found their mojo in recent times, going unbeaten in their previous four games, which included three wins, all of them in the Premier League. While Arsenal are still to put in a really convincing performance, the one where that "Va Va Voom" flows, what will really please Wenger is the results, and at the end of the day, during this stage of the season, that is all that matters.
Another victory, be that with an eye-pleasing performance or of the gritty nature, will be the target for Arsenal, against a Nottingham Forest side, who are 13th in the Championship at the moment.
While Arsenal will be happy with a win and with it a place in the next round of the EFL Cup, there will be one Nottingham Forest player, who will have a point to prove. The former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who showed such promise during his early days in London, signed for the Championship club this summer in a bid to reignite his career after being released by Wolfsburg.
An eye-catching performance against Arsenal is just the kind of fillip needed to bring that talent back to the fore again. "It was a surprise to me that Nicklas signed for Nottingham Forest, but at some stage he needs to restart his career," Wenger said of his former player. "You have to adapt and we are in a job where we have to show we are able to put our effort in everywhere and compete.
"Sometimes when you are a player of his quality, you just need an opportunity. We know he is a top-quality player, but he needs to play."
Bendtner might get a look in from the start for this match, and if he does, the striker is ready to take the game by the proverbial scruff of the neck and lead his team to an upset win.
"We are underdogs (against Arsenal), and we know we will have to be at our best to stand a chance," Bendtner told the club's official website. "We cannot be at anything less than 100 percent but we know than in cup games anything can happen and upsets can be caused.
"It is important for us to be compact and to be tactically aware. We know if we press Arsenal then they can play around us so we have to be aware of the challenges. We'll get chances during the game and then it's up to us to take them."
Where to Watch Live
Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal is scheduled for a 7.45pm BST (12.15am IST) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India and UK: No live coverage on TV or online. Radio: Arsenal Player.
Middle East, North Africa, USA, Canada: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport6. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.