Confirmed Arsenal XI vs Leicester City: Nicolas Pepe starts but Mesut Ozil in the cold


Nicolas Pepe will make his first start of the season in Arsenal’s EFL Cup third round tie against Leicester City.

However there is no room for outcasts Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi in Mikel Arteta’s squad, as well as Lucas Torreira, whose future is in doubt.

New signings Alex Runarsson and William Saliba are on the bench.

David Luiz captains Arsenal in his first appearance this season.

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Arteta is currently without Kieran Tierney (groin), Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Cedric Soares (both calf), though the trio are more minor concerns and could all be available for Monday’s trip to Liverpool. Emile Smith Rowe is also set to resume training in the coming days after injuring his shoulder.

Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers (both knee) and Pablo Mari (ankle) are more long-term absentees, though the latter hopes to be available before the end of this month.

Arsenal have not won the League Cup since 1993 but Arteta has a strong recent track record as the assistant manager to Manchester City sides that have won the competition in each of the last three years.

“We are going to take the Carabao Cup seriously, that is for sure,” Arteta said ahead of tonight’s game. “Obviously with the fixtures we have, the number of games, it is very difficult.

“Maybe not in the first games but when the competition moves a little more forward, how teams – not just ourselves – are going to treat the competition. But we have to go day by day, let’s see what position we are in for Wednesday to try and put out the strongest possible team to try and win it.”

Confirmed Arsenal XI: Leno; Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac; Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock, Saka; Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson





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