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Arsenal v Blackpool - Banana Skin Or Goal Grabbing Exercise?

Now time for something completely different.From the unknown tests of the Europa League, the pushing of our limits in the Premier League, this first foray of the season into the Carabao Cup represents something far removed from what we have dealt with thus far.Our opponent is Blackpool, once a Premier League team playing vibrant football, now a League One team, firmly entrenched in midtable.The moment that you think all is well, is exactly the moment that the rug can be pulled from underneath you, and Unai Emery will recognise this, and the fact that any silverware will in his first season would be gratefully received.A trophy of any nature is so hard to achieve - just ask tottenham - and so we would do well to play a decent mixture in our team. Rotation will of course be part of the selection process, but what can we expect?Team NewsThis tie is a fantastic opportunity for some of our kids and our fringe players to get some gametime, and maybe even put some pressure on the more established first team.Petr Cech could make his return from injury in this tie, or emi Martinez may make his first start of the season - and for quite some time.In defence, the like of recent bench warmer Zach Medley could be given a runout, as well as Sokratis, who is also returning from injury just like Cech. Stephane Lichtsteiner should make the team too, so there will be plenty of experience in the backline. There could be a start for fan favourite and self-confessed Gooner, Carl Jenkinson - which would represent a real turnaround in Jenko’s fortunes.What of midfield? We have plenty of options, and one that could be utilised is Jo Willock. He could play in the heart of midfield along with Mohamed Elneny, who will be relatively fresh.On the flanks, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey are options, and Eddie Nketiah may get some valuable minutes. Whatever happens, our players will get a decent runout.Blackpool will be heavily reliant on Nathan Delfouneso up front to get their goals, and they also have some trickery in the form of Joe Dodoo, on loan from Rangers.
they also have an ex-Gunner in the form of Marc Bola, and a tough-tackling Jay Spearing will give them decent grit in the centre of the park.What to expectBlackpool lost their last match - a local derby with Fleetwood Town - but they won their two matches previous to that, and without conceding. They are a firm team that are half decent from set-plays and could stack the midfield to stop us from playing.We need to be well equipped for a battle, and so Mohamed Elneny could be key. The Egyptian is adaptable and can add grit to a decent amount of flair when needed. If we can transition midfield to attack quickly, then we should be fine.Players will look to this game and hope it could be a walkover, and in reality, anything other than a comfortable victory will be a disappointment, but we should never take anything for granted - remember Wrexham and Bradford?The likes of Welbeck and Mkhitaryan will be chomping at the bit to grab a few season-inflating goals, and while progression to the next round is the main target, our home fans will want a show.PredictionsPredicted Lineup - Cech, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Mustafi, Medley, Elneny, Willock, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Welbeck, NketiahPredicted Scoreline - 3-0 to The Arsenal