PREVIEW: Arsenal v AFC Wimbledon
Wednesday, September 22, kick off 745pm
Carabao Cup, third round
After a midweek with no European football the floodlights will be back on at the Emirates on Wednesday night for the third round of the Carabao Cup, with Arsenal rewarded for their thumping of West Brown with a draw against League 1’s AFC Wimbledon.
After a very difficult start to the season, chants of 1-0 to the Arsenal have been allowed to resurface with back to back wins by that scoreline over Norwich and Burnley- not instant classics, but there cannot be many complaints with the Gunners moving clear of the relegation zone and Mikel Arteta being allowed to breathe at least half a sigh of relief.
Arsenal haven’t won the League Cup since 1993, a comeback win over Sheffield Wednesday in the final, but the 6-0 win over West Brom certainly reinforced the opportunities that the competition can provide, with Aubameyang hitting the hat-trick as our attackers ran riot at the Hawthorns.
Arsenal fans may view the clash with Wimbledon as another opportunity to find the back of the net, but the South Londoners come into this game off the back of taking 12 points from their first 8 games in a very competitive third tier that includes a number of former Premier League or First Division sides.
After a 4-3 away win at Morecambe (which followed up a 3-1 victory over Oxford United) the Dons suffered their first defeat at Plough Lane this season against Plymouth Argyle.
The club’s new ground has only been able to welcome fans back from the start of the summer, but the Wimbledon faithful have been rewarded with plenty of goals, with Mark Robinson’s side scoring 15 and conceding 13, involved in the most goals in the division.
A more defensive strategy may have to be implemented against Premier League opposition, but it’s safe to say that either Bernd Leno or Aaron Ramsdale won’t just be making up the numbers.
With the North London Derby coming up on Sunday you can expect a changed side from the win over Burnley, but with no drastic measures to avoid potential injuries.
Many Gooners will hope to see the talented Charlie Patino named in the squad, and not just because he’s a Gooner Fanzine subscriber!
With no Europa League these are the games where future Sakas and Smith-Rowes can really make an impression on Mikel Arteta.
The draw will also take place on Wednesday night; Arsenal are of course the favourites to go through but Wimbledon know how to find the back of the net and will look to expose some of the Gunners’ defensive frailties.
Without wanting to curse anything, expect goals at the Emirates!
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