Arsenal have international stars in reserve for cup clash with Norwich
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Ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup fourth round tie, DAVID FREEZER takes a look at who could feature for Premier League giants Arsenal against Norwich City.
Arsenal are unlikely to field their full-strength starting XI against Norwich City tonight but Daniel Farke’s team will certainly still be facing an extremely strong side.
Key players such as Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette look likely to be rested having played key roles in Sunday’s 5-2 win at Everton in the Premier League.
Experienced stars such as goalkeeper Petr Cech and defenders Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny could well be rested as well, with the Gunners chasing success on three fronts.
On Thursday the north London side were in Serbia for a Europa League group stage clash against Red Star Belgrade, making a host of changes from the side which had lost 2-1 at Watford in the league.
Youngsters such as defender Rob Holding, former Ipswich loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles and highly rated 17-year-old forward Reiss Nelson all started that hard fought success – which looks likely to offer a good indicator of the team which will feature this evening.
England internationals Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott both started that game but were on the bench against Everton at the weekend, as was France striker Olivier Giroud.
Those three alone show the wealth of talent available to manager Arsene Wenger.
Academy product Wilshere is trying to revive his career after an injury-hit spell saw him spend last season on loan at Bournemouth. The midfielder has 34 England caps but has not played for his country since the disastrous defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
Still just 25, Canaries fans know all too well about the threat he can pose, after seeing him complete a wonderful team goal as City were beaten 4-1 at the Emirates in the top flight in October 2013 – winning him Match of the Day’s goal of the season award.
Speedy winger Walcott has 47 England caps but has fallen out of favour on the international stage. Still just 28, Walcott has scored over 100 goals for the Gunners in almost 12 years with the club.
Giroud, 31, scored 20 goals for club and country last season but has fallen behind £46million summer signing Lacazette in the pecking order and is likely to have a point to prove.
That trio’s quality and experience, mixed with some exciting young talent, look likely to make it tough for City to keep their cup run going.