Thomas Partey is the surprise starter for Arsenal against AFC Wimbledon, while Alexandre Lacazette, Bernd Leno and Rob Holding are also in the lineup.
Mikel Arteta has lived up to his pre-match words about fielding a strong lineup. Arsenal takes on AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup third-round tie, and the manager has chosen plenty of fringe stars from the start.
Bernd Leno takes his place between the posts and replaces Aaron Ramsdale, who has started the previous two games in the league. There is a complete overhaul of the back four from the Burnley win, with Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares starting as full-backs.
Rob Holding and Pablo Mari come in the side as central defenders, as Arteta decides to rest the likes of Ben White and Gabriel ahead of the North London Derby at the weekend.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 22, 2021
Arteta has decided to go without a creative midfielder in the game and opt to play a three-man unit at the centre. Thomas Partey is a surprise starter, given he went down with cramps in the previous round. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albebrt Sambi Lokonga are the Ghanaian’s partners in central midfield.
Again, without a creative player behind the front three, Arteta has decided to start Alexandre Lacazette to lead the line, while Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli also feature in the attacking third. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are on the bench if needed.
Arsenal Starting XI – Leno; Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tavares; Lokonga, Partey, Maitland-Niles; Martinelli, Nketiah, Lacazette.