We kick off our Carabao Cup campaign with a third-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion, hoping to take a first step towards getting our hands on the trophy for the first time since 1993.
In what will be our final home game before the World Cup break, we’re aiming to win a 12th straight game at Emirates Stadium, putting us within touching distance of our best-ever run of victories at the venue which is 13.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm (UK time), with the tie going straight to penalties in the event of a draw after 90 minutes. The draw for the fourth round will take place on Thursday night following the Manchester United v Aston Villa match.
Seagulls continue to fly high
Brighton head to north London in sixth position in the Premier League table, ahead of both Liverpool and Chelsea, who lured Graham Potter to Stamford Bridge in September following his excellent work on the south coast over the past three seasons.
Four wins from their opening six games before Potter’s departure had left Albion in the top four, and the upheaval following Robert De Zerbi’s appointment understandably saw a run of five games without a win, albeit three of last season’s top six were faced during that time.
However, a 4-1 thrashing of the Blues on Potter’s return ended that slump in style, and victory over Wolves last weekend has well and truly stopped the rot. Progress in the Carabao Cup was also achieved via a 3-0 win at Forest Green Rovers using a much-changed side averaging 22 years of age.
What to expect
Michael Cox, writing in the official matchday programme: De Zerbi has largely stuck to the Potter template since taking charge. Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster are the centre-back partnership, but sometimes Joel Veltman has joined them as part of a back three. He can move out to right-back if needed, while Pevis Estupinan offers an attacking threat from left-back.
Adam Lallana often plays the No 10 role, with Pascal Gross the alternative if he’s not required elsewhere. Down the right, Solly March is enjoying a fine campaign, showing trickery out wide and also acting as a goal threat at the far post, while Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo have formed a good midfield pairing.
De Zerbi may seek to rotate his squad, and there are players who need minutes, as, Brighton have only handed Premier League starts to 14 players this season.
What the managers say
Arteta: “I know Roberto well, I’ve followed him, I think he’s an extraordinary coach with very clear ideas that I really enjoy watching and tomorrow they will put a big test on us.
“We don’t know what they are going to do with team selection, that’s for sure. And they don’t know what we’re going to do either, so I think we will both be in the same place. Every coach has their own way of playing and they are very consistent in a lot of things that they do, and we will prepare the game expecting more of the same that they have been doing.” - hear much more from Mikel about the game
De Zerbi: “It will be a test for many players but when we wear the Brighton shirt, we must play seriously and we must try to win. For me, Arsenal is a very important game, I can make some changes in the first XI, but we prepare for the cup as if it is a Premier League game.
“Arsenal is a very good team and Mikel is a very good coach. I like his style of play for sure. With Jesus and Zinchenko they find the best mentality because those players know how to win, they have won the Premier League. They help their teammates to find the right mentality.”
Takehiro Tomiyasu is continuing to be monitored after he limped off against FC Zurich last week, but is expected to be fit for the World Cup.
Matt Turner returned to the bench for the weekend’s win against Chelsea after his groin injury, while Emile Smith Rowe continues to undergo rehab following groin surgery. - hear more from Mikel about how strong a line-up he'll select
Jakub Moder is Brighton’s only injury concern, who is likely to be out for the majority of the campaign after rupturing an ACL during pre-season, while De Zerbi has announced that goalkeeper Jason Steele will get the nod between the posts.
Facts and stats
We have progressed from 18 of our last 19 League Cup third round ties, losing the other 2-1 at home to Southampton in 2014/15. Last season saw us defeat AFC Wimbledon 3-0 on our run to the semi-finals.
We last met Brighton in the League Cup in the 1979/80 season, winning 4-0 in a fourth round replay, with Frank Stapleton and Paul Vaessen both scoring braces.
Since reaching the Premier League in 2017/18, Brighton have faced top-flight opponents five times in the League Cup and been eliminated on each occasion. Their last victory in this competition against a Premier League team was in August 2011 against Sunderland.
Jarred Gillett returns to Emirates Stadium for the second time this season, having overseen our win against Fulham back in August. That was his third Gunners appointment, and we have won all of them.
In his six Premier League outings this term, he has shown 23 yellow cards but no reds, and is yet to award a penalty.
- Referee: Jarred Gillett
- Assistant Referee 1: Neil Davies
- Assistant Referee 2: Steven Meredith
- Fourth official: Andrew Madley
VAR is not in operation in this season’s competition
Recent visit from the Seagulls
Since Brighton have been in the top-flight, they have lost just twice in five visits, having won none of their first eight trips between November 1979 and May 2019.
Back in April, they won 2-1 thanks to goals from Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu, with Martin Odegaard pulling one back with a minute to go. However, we won the meeting before then 2-0 in May 2021 thanks to a Nicolas Pepe brace.
Our other previous success in the past five years came in October 2017 when Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi bagged the goals in a 2-0 win, when Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding all featured.
With the game not being broadcast anywhere in the world, Breakdown Live is the home of exclusive live commentary of our third-round tie.
As well as analysing Sunday’s victory at Stamford Bridge, and working out where we can secure victory against the Seagulls, Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke will be pitchside from 6.45pm UK time with inspirational Gooner Steve Salmon, who recently broke his own world record in the London Marathon for the fastest time registered in a non-racing wheelchair.
Ahead of his fight on the Dillian Whyte vs Jermaine Franklin undercard, former Team GB boxer Chev Clarke will also join us in the My Arsenal Rewards box to talk about his preparation ahead of the bout, while you won't miss a kick of the action thanks to exclusive live commentary from Dan Roebuck and Arsenal invincible Jeremie Aliadiere.
Make sure you tune in from 6.45pm on Arsenal.com and the official app.
Arteta chatted to Arsenal.com about the game, his team selection, how much priority he'll give the tournament and his thoughts on our opponents in an exclusive interview.
There's also footage from the training session, while this match has been dedicated our Remembrance Day game, and you can find out what is planned during matchday and how to get your hands on match-worn shirt.