The festive fixture schedule is chock-full of matches, and next up on this crammed schedule is the Carabao Cup.

The League Cup in recent years has seen a resurgence after becoming something of an unwanted distraction for the bigger teams. Now though, silverware is scarcer than ever, and a trip to Wembley for us fans can never be overlooked.

Arsene Wenger has never lifted the League Cup in his time at Arsenal. There is no reason why we couldn’t rectify this, but in order to do so, next up is West Ham.

Last week saw us squeeze out a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium, as we continue to stumble along after the troubling 3-1 defeat to Manchester United. The manner in which we lost the game has seemed to expel the confidence from our players, and it was evident in the game against the Hammers.

We struggled to break them down, and considering we played the aerially-strong Olivier Giroud, we played far too narrow. It was another case of dropped points, but it showed the improvement David Moyes has instilled in his side.

One thing will be evident in this game. With a crucial Premier League game against Liverpool just two days later, the side that takes on the Hammers will be vastly changed. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny will most likely miss out, but seeing as this is a Quarter-Final - would it be foolish to completely weaken the side?

David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Debuchy, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott will still maintain a strong lineup, but will Aaron Ramsey return in time for either? Will he be restored to the lineup instantly?

Surely, Jack has played the last two games and has the match rhythm, so he would be in line to start against Liverpool rather than this cup tie. Ramsey, if fit, would be ideal to play this game to ramp up his match fitness.

It is the likes of Reiss Nelson and Jo Willock that may be included that could shake up the eleven, but West Ham would be remiss if they didn’t play their strongest side. That means Andre Ayew, Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini and Micheal Antonio making the lineup. Mark Noble missed out in the weekend and looks likely to be unfit, but David Moyes could also include Andy Carroll in the team, knowing that his mere presence has had an impact in the past against our side.

This cup tie is a chance for us to gain back some momentum, and also get us a Semi-Final place, which isn’t to be sniffed at. Arsene Wenger needs to rotate of course, but could he include Alexis Sanchez? The Chilean has been out of sorts lately, and if he is indeed in his last season, shouldn’t we use him as much as we can?

One thing is for sure, the 0-0 draw last week will have no bearing. A cup tie presents a one-off game that both teams will be gunning for. Moyes has a less than impressive record against Wenger, but with our side struggling for the cohesive balance that produces our best football, this could be a tetchy affair.

Cards are on the menu I think, and normally, a game between these two sides produces a hatful of goals. All we need is good service and Giroud and Theo could make the difference. It is all conjecture of course, but we can all see the kind of team we will name, and where the battles will be won on the pitch.

It is a game to take seriously, but not at the cost of the game against Liverpool on Friday.

Predicted Lineup - Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Willock,Nelson, Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud.

Predicted scoreline - 2-1 to The Arsenal