League One’s Sunderland look to cause a shock cupset at Arsenal in the opening Quarter-Final of this season’s Carabao Cup.
Arsenal enter this round looking to advance to the semi-finals after falling at this stage in two of the last three seasons.
Sunderland meanwhile are looking to reach the last four of this competition for the first time since finishing runners-up in 2013-14 season.
Albert Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari are ruled out for Arsenal after testing positive for Coronavirus.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (knock) is a doubt but Sead Kolasinac (ankle) remains absent.
Sunderland could welcome Dennis Cirkin back from a hernia injury.
Corry Evans (thigh) also could be in contention but he and Cirkin won’t be risked until they’re declared fully match fit.
Leon Dajaku (knock) is a doubt but Luke O’Nien (shoulder) and Aiden McGeady (knee) are ruled out alongside an unnamed player who tested positive for Coronavirus.
- Arsenal have won two of three previous League Cup meetings against Sunderland (W2, L1).
- Sunderland have won one of two previous away ties against Arsenal in this competition (W1, L1).
- Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are yet to concede in this season’s competition.
- Sunderland have won two of their last three League Cup meetings against Premier League opposition, with all three ties coming away from Stadium of Light.
- Arsenal have won their last three home ties against League One opposition in this competition (W3).
Having won their last three matches, Arsenal come into this match in strong form especially off the back of a positive win at Leeds with an energetic display on and off the ball, yet they do still have focus issues with silly needless fouls at times.
Sunderland meanwhile are on a seven-match unbeaten run but their defence has been leaky following an injury crisis, so it will be interesting to see how they tackle this task given the gulf in quality but a counterattack style could be their best hope.
Arsenal’s superior quality even if Mikel Arteta rotates his squad though should prove strong enough to overcome this battle, yet I do expect Sunderland to cause some issues and try and nick a goal.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland
Result: Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland