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Jan 20, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Emirates Stadium
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Lacazette (44'), Tomiyasu (56'), Partey (87')
Partey (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Jota (19', 79')
Konate (63'), Jones (82'), Minamino (90+1')

How Arsenal could line up against Liverpool

How Arsenal could line up against Liverpool
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Arsenal could line up for Thursday's EFL Cup semi-final second-leg tie with Liverpool.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is facing a selection dilemma ahead of the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at home against Liverpool on Thursday.

An amalgamation of coronavirus-related issues, injuries, suspensions and AFCON absentees resulted in their North London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur being postponed at the Gunners' request, and it remains to be seen whether their tie with Jurgen Klopp's side at the Emirates Stadium will go ahead.

As things stand, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares are all minor doubts due to injury or fatigue, while Sead Kolasinac's five-and-a-half year spell with Arsenal has come to an end after he finalised his move to Marseille this week.

Gunners playmaker Martin Odegaard is doubtful having only just completed his self-isolation period, after a spell out with coronavirus, and Granit Xhaka will serve a one-match suspension, following his 24th-minute red card in the first leg.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny all remain away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to England but is unavailable after suffering heart lesions following his bout with COVID-19.

Potentially four of these absentees will be central midfielders, which means Arteta may have to turn to Ben White to operate in front of the back four along with Albert Sambi Lokonga, while all three right-backs are sweating over their fitness.

White's regular centre-back partner Gabriel Magalhaes is expected to start and he could be joined in the heart of the defence by Rob Holding, who put in a solid performance in the first leg after coming on as a first-half substitute, following Xhaka's dismissal.

Eddie Nketiah – who was the unfortunate one to make way for Holding before the half-hour mark – will be hoping to get a second bite of the cherry against Liverpool in midweek; the 22-year-old has scored seven goals in five EFL Cup appearances at the Emirates, averaging a goal every 46 minutes, and he is set to join Alexandre Lacazette in attack.

Arsenal possible starting lineup: Ramsdale; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Saka, White, Lokonga, Martinelli; Nketiah, Lacazette

> Click here to see how Liverpool could line up for this contest

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Mikel Arteta in charge of Arsenal in November 2021
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