With Arsenal on a two-game winning streak in the Premier League, things are starting to look up for the Gunners as they hose AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup.
The north London side cruised into the third round of the competition after a 6-0 thumping over West Bromwich Albion. And with Wimbledon making the trip across the capital, Arsenal will be eager to inflict a similar scoreline over the League One side.
Indeed, Wednesday night won’t be a walk in the park, though, for Mikel Arteta’s side. The Dons have established themselves as one of the most exciting and swashbuckling sides in the EFL this season. And the southwest London side are more than capable of causing problems for Arsenal.
With that being said, who could line up for Arsenal this week when they face Wimbledon?
Leno returns between the sticks
With Aaron Ramsdale keeping two clean sheets in his first pair of Premier League games for the Arsenal, it seems pretty night and day that the keeper, who was once on Wimbledon’s books on loan, is now Arteta’s first choice.
And for Bernd Leno, that means he is likely to start against the Dons this week. With the German international the number one keeper for the past two seasons, being relegated to the bench would come as a shock for the former Bayer Leverkusen star.
Indeed, Leno is a strong character. And If the German can perform against Wimbledon, there’s a chance the keeper can win his spot back from Ramsdale.
For our predicted XI, we have also gone for a much-changed back four consisting of Cedric Soares, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, and Nuno Tavares.
Arteta hands Patino first-team debut
Heading into this game, there’s one name on every Arsenal’s fans lips. Charlie Patino.
The 17-year-old midfielder has emerged as the latest gem from the Hale End academy. And with Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka unavailable for Wimbledon, the teenager could get the nod.
Thomas Partey could also be rested, meaning Albert Sambi Lokonga will almost certainly line up alongside the England youth international in an exciting midfield pivot.
Ahead of them, Nicolas Pepe could retain his position on the right. Whilst Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli return to fold to take up the attacking midfield and left-wing roles respectively.
Lacazette leads the line for Arsenal against Wimbledon
The striker position will be something of a conundrum for Arteta. With four options to pick from, it is difficult to predict who the Basque manager will choose to lead the line.
However, our pick is Alexandre Lacazette. The French striker has not played a minute of football in the past two games.
And whilst Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun are also realistic options, the experienced attacker could be the best pick to take on Wimbledon.
With Pepe and Martinelli operating behind Lacazette, the Frenchman is the perfect attacker to link the two wingers behind him. Which could result in some fantastic combination play for Arsenal against Wimbledon.
Predicted XI – Leno; Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tavares; Lokonga, Patino, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Martinelli; Lacazette