Heading up to Anfield for the second time this week, Mikel Arteta will be forced to rotate his side once again before shooting back down to north London to welcome Sheffield United on Sunday.
In the early stages of the season, the Carabao Cup’s presence may not be one of major importance, but the Spaniard has insisted that Arsenal will be taking the competition seriously.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have made it no secret that they don’t view the Carabao Cup as a priority. Having beaten Lincoln City 7-2 in the last round, Virgil van Dijk was the only man to start again for the Reds against Arsenal on Monday, whereas Jurgen Klopp’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders took the pre-match press conference.
Kicking off their Carabao Cup campaign at Leicester City, the Gunners proved just how seriously they would be taking the competition with Arteta’s starting lineup. Although there was rotation, the inclusion of Bernd Leno, Rob Holding and David Luiz alongside the talented youngsters was a clear indication that Arsenal were coming to win.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
What was also clear, however, was the desire to rest Hector Bellerin. The 25-year-old has had a solid introduction to the new season, but with the demands that come with playing at wing-back for Arteta, will come the need for rests during the season.
Although he was brought on in the dying moments of the game, when he impressed with an assist for Eddie Nketiah’s strike, ensuring he was ready for Anfield on Monday was paramount. Starting Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Arteta was putting another starter at risk of being burned out, however, which makes the return of Cedric Soares even more important tonight.
The right-back hasn’t had much game time since arriving in January with injuries holding him back for the most part, but Arteta was very clear on what…