Arsenal travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night (October 30).

This tie might come as a welcome break from the pressures of the Premier League for Unai Emery and his side after the turmoil of Sunday afternoon at home to Crystal Palace.

The 2-2 draw with the Eagles turned ugly when Granit Xhaka was taken off in the 61st minute and was greeted with a chorus of boos when he walked slowly towards the sideline.

Xhaka then gesticulated towards the crowd, which only incensed fans further and left a bitter taste in the mouth at full-time, adding fuel to the already raging fire after a poor start to the season.

READ MORE: Granit Xhaka and VAR – the key talking points from Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace

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Expectations in the League Cup aren’t nearly as high and a much-changed lineup for both sides is to be expected.

A mixture of youth and players still looking to return to full fitness is what we’re likely to see on Merseyside.

Gabriel Martinelli will probably lead the line and Emi Martinez will come in between the sticks, while Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin could feature as they look to build up match sharpness.

Shkodran Mustafi has been used in the cup games this season, as have the likes of Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Lucas Torreira – despite many being of the opinion the Uruguayan should be starting more league games.

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Jurgen Klopp is bound to make wholesale changes for Liverpool who have their focus fully on a Premier League title challenge and Champions League campaign and wouldn’t want to risk injury to key players.

The Reds come into this game unbeaten in their last 28 matches domestically – their last defeat against English opposition was a 2-1 loss away at Wolves in the FA Cup third round in January this year.

Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield since a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in this competition in September 2018.

Klopp’s side won 2-0 away at MK Dons in the last round thanks to goals from James Milner and young defender Ki-Jana Hoever.

Team News

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Calum Chambers, David Luiz and Granit Xhaka will not make the trip to Anfield.

Unai Emery confirmed in his press conference that Mesut Ozil may make his first appearance since the 5-0 League Cup win against Nottingham Forest in September.

Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are out injured for Liverpool, while Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are likely to be rested.

Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is one of many youngsters set to start the game against Arsenal.

Prediction

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Key player: Gabriel Martinelli – The young Brazilian has hit the ground running since joining Arsenal, netting five goals and providing one assist from his six appearances – three of which have been from the bench.

At just 18 years of age, Martinelli is an exciting prospect and could play an important role if Arsenal are to get anything from the game.

Liverpool’s last five games: W/W/D/W/W

Arsenal’s last five games: W/W/L/W/D

Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal – This is so hard to call because we don’t know how seriously Klopp will be taking it. Either way, Liverpool are always strong at home.

Let’s punt for some excitement on a carefree night in Liverpool to lift the spirits. The Gunners to win on penalties after a high-scoring draw.


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