If last season’s Carabao Cup defeat at Anfield is anything to go by then I would expect us to be up against a significantly weakened Liverpool side tonight and I suggest that we do the same to an extent.
This season’s objective is to qualify for the UEFA Champions League places in whichever way we can and so for me Sunday’s home game against Sheffield Utd must take priority over tonight. We understandably suffered our first league defeat at the hands of the Champions just a few days ago and I think that it’s vital that we get back to winning ways in the league as quickly as possible. With Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs stuttering in their starts to the Premier League season, a win against Sheffield Utd will do us a world of good.
Having said that, with the weakened side that we are all expecting Liverpool to field there is no reason why a partially weakened Arsenal side could not go and grab a win tonight. Last season’s tie was decided on penalties and I would argue that we are more then capable of progressing to the next round even with a rotated side.
At the moment, Aubameyang is our best tool when it comes to winning points consistently as so I would like to see him left out tonight and fresh for Sunday. It would also be a good opportunity for us to see Rúnarsson get his first appearance and perhaps show us what we can expect from him in the future. Though I don’t think that we must rotate everyone, the likes of Nketiah, Willock and Saka should certainly start in my opinion. If Liverpool are to field a similar side to the one they did last season, I’m confident that our young players have the ability and the experience to go out there and win the game.