Arsenal v Brentford preview: Unai Emery expected to rotate line-up
Last Updated: 26/09/18 10:28pm
Unai Emery is expected to rotate his squad as Arsenal welcome Brentford to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night for a third-round Carabao Cup tie.
The Gunners head coach made a string of changes in the Europa League last week before recalling first-team regulars for the Premier League win over Everton. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ankle) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (leg) could miss out.
Academy product Emile Smith Rowe is in line to make his full debut while other fringe players will be hoping for a chance to impress as Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Sead Kolasinac (knee), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (leg) and Carl Jenkinson (ankle) remain absent.
Brentford defender Moses Odubajo could make his first appearance of the season. Odubajo is yet to feature for the Bees since returning to the club after leaving Hull due to a long-term knee injury, and the full-back was an unused substitute in last weekend's defeat at Derby.
Boss Dean Smith will assess midfielder Josh Clarke, who is struggling with a hamstring strain, while defender Rico Henry (knee) remains sidelined. Otherwise Smith will select from a fully-fit squad, with Luke Daniels, Tom Field, Sergi Canos and Alan Judge all pushing for recalls.
Arsenal have not faced Brentford since May 1947, winning 1-0 at Griffin Park in a top-flight encounter.
Brentford are one of only five English teams that Arsenal have faced at least 10 times in their history but lost more games than they've won (P12 W3 D4 L5), along with Liverpool, Manchester United, Notts County and Walsall.
Arsenal have only been eliminated at this stage of the League Cup once in the previous 15 seasons, losing 2-1 to Southampton at the Emirates in the third round in 2014-15.
Brentford have eliminated top-flight opposition just twice in 21 attempts in the League Cup, though both were in the third round - in 1982-83 against Swansea City and 2010-11 against Everton.
Arsenal haven't lost a home League Cup match against a side from outside the top-flight since a 2-1 defeat at Highbury against Walsall in November 1983 and are unbeaten in 30 matches since then (W27 D3).
Brentford manager Dean Smith has faced Premier League opposition five times in his managerial career - he's lost all five matches, conceding at least three goals in every game.
This will probably be the best footballing game of the whole round. I'm a huge fan of what Dean Smith has done at Brentford but they are not the strongest defensively, which you saw at Derby in the Championship at the weekend.
Arsenal will be strong in attack and I can see a close game here with both teams scoring. It could easily finish as a draw after 90 minutes but I can't call who would win if it goes to penalties!
Don Goodman predicts: 2-2 (16/1 with Sky Bet)