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Having eliminated Newcastle United at the previous stage, Sheffield Wednesday will attempt to claim another major Premier League scalp in the form of Arsenal on Tuesday, this time at their home. Wenger has urged Arsenal to maintain the high standards that have seen the Gunners record four consecutive victories. His side sit second in the Premier League, behind Manchester City on goal difference only, and rounded off a superb week in which they also beat Watford and Bayern Munich with a 2-1 win at home to Everton on Saturday.
Wednesday, unbeaten in eight games across all competitions, are on a brilliant run, with manager Carlos Carvalhal’s style of play earning plaudits from fans and pundits both. In the previous round, Sheffield defeated Premier League outfit Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’ Park. Their summer recruits needed a while to settle, which led to a slow start this season, but the team have since seriously raised their game. The run of four wins and three draws saw Sheffield Wed climb to ninth in the Championship standings and they now sit just four points behind top 6 places. Carvalhal could well rest some of his key men with a tough fixture vs Forest to come on Saturday. Sheffield has a long injury list as all of Michael Turner, Alex Lopez, Marco Matias and Modou Sougou will be out of action for the tie against the north London club due to injuries.
The Gunners haven’t done as well in this competition as one would possibly expect, winning it just twice from a total of 7 final appearances. Their last triumph came back in 1993. They beat Spurs 2-1 in their last League Cup fixture, in which Flamini grabbed a brace. For Arsenal, it’s a chance to reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup and give opportunities for some second-string players to make their mark, given the fact that Wenger has chosen to rotate heavily in this competition. No fresh injury concern for Arsenal manager Wenger for the midweek Capital One Cup clash. David Ospina is still ruled out, which means former Chelsea star Petr Cech will be in between the posts. Aaron Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere and Welbeck are unavailable due to long-term injuries.
Predicted Sheffield Wednesday line-up: Wildsmith, Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace, Lee, Hutchinson, Bannan, Forestieri, Lucas Joao
Predicted Arsenal line-up: Cech, Debuchy, Gabriel, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Bielik, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Campbell, Walcott
Predicted Scoreline: 1-2
The two sides have met five times in the League Cup, with the Gunners victorious on all five occasions, including the 1993 final.
This is the first meeting between Wednesday and Arsenal since May 2000, a 3-3 draw at Highbury in the Owls’ penultimate Premier League game before relegation.
In only two of the previous 25 seasons have Arsenal been eliminated by a non-top tier team.