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Sep 24, 2019 at 8pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 53,160
Arsenal
5-0
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
Martinelli (31', 92'), Holding (71'), Willock (77'), Nelson (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Ray Parlour urges Arsenal to go for EFL Cup glory

The Premier League side host Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in the third round on Tuesday night.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes the Gunners should set their sights on winning the Carabao Cup this season.

The competition often rates far down the list of priorities for Premier League clubs, especially those who are also part of European tournaments.

Arsenal have ambitions of finishing in the top four for the first time since 2016 and will be looking to go one step further in the Europa League, having lost to London rivals Chelsea in last year's final.

Parlour won nine major trophies during his time at Arsenal.
Parlour won nine major trophies during his time at Arsenal (John GIles/PA)

They host Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest in the third round on Tuesday night as they start their Carabao Cup campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

But Parlour, who won the competition with Arsenal in 1993, feels that if head coach Unai Emery can find the right balancing act then the two-time winners can lift the trophy once again.

"I think he mixed the team with experience and youngsters," Parlour said of Arsenal's run to the quarter-finals in last season's Carabao Cup – where they were beaten by neighbours Tottenham.

"There is no problem with that, it is good to give the youngsters game time and they have some very good youngsters at Arsenal – Reiss Nelson, (Ainsley) Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe. It is great to see players like that come into the team.

"But you can also see how important the competition is to teams like Manchester City and it is another trophy to talk about at the end of the season.

"It is a magnificent achievement to win any competition and for Arsenal and Unai Emery, and the rest of the top six, they should be – and probably will be – taking it seriously.

"There are a lot of games and you get injuries through the season so it is a bit about balancing the squad."

Arsenal lost the final to Manchester City in 2018, Arsene Wenger's final season at the helm, and now Parlour – speaking to the PA news agency at the launch of this season's Carabao Cup competition – thinks it presents Emery with a good opportunity for his first silverware since replacing the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger's final visit to Wembley as Arsenal boss was a 3-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Arsene Wenger's final visit to Wembley as Arsenal boss was a 3-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City (Joe Giddens/PA)

"The big teams have got bigger squads but it still baffles me when you get to the latter stages of any cup competition and rest players," he added.

"Arsenal fans would embrace another day out at Wembley and have a good time, as well as challenging to win the trophy – something Arsenal will be wanting to do, I'm sure.

"If you ask any fan around the country and say 'do you want a Wembley day out to go for a cup and win a trophy' they would say 'yes, definitely'.

The likes of midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will be keen for another chance to impress Emery.
The likes of midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will be keen for another chance to impress Emery (Nick Potts/PA)

"I'm really surprised sometimes when teams rest players. It was the first ever trophy I won as a player and I really enjoyed it and now Emery could make it his first title in England as well."

In truth, Emery is likely to make wholesale changes with the game coming just over 48 hours on from a 3-2 Premier League win over Aston Villa.

Rob Holding will be pushing for his first involvement since December after overcoming a knee injury, while Emery's youngsters could also get another chance to shine.

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Sabri Lamouchi in charge of Nottingham Forest on August 3, 2019
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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