Arsenal v Blackpool: Match Preview, Predictions, Venue & Kickoff Information | Carabao Cup 2018-19
Arsenal welcome League One side Blackpool to the Emirates in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as they aim to get back to winning ways after a rather upsetting draw against Crystal Palace - one that put their winning streak to an end.
While they are right in the race for the top 4 or better, their opponents are hovering over the mid-table spots in the third tier of English football. The Gunners haven't lost to a lower league side in this competition since 2015, whereas Blackpool last defeated the North Londoners way back in 1970.
Here's all you need to know ahead of the game.
Arsenal v Blackpool: Kickoff Information
Date: 31st October, 2018
Kickoff: 20:45 (local time), 01:15 (IST)
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v Blackpool: Team News
Hector Bellerin's groin injury against Crystal Palace last time out adds to a long list of setbacks for Unai Emery.
While the pair of Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal will face late fitness tests ahead of the game, Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos are out long term. A thigh problem will keep Mohamed Elneny out of action for two weeks as well.
Armand Gnanduillet, who picked up a red card in his team's 3-2 defeat at Fleetwood Town on Saturday, is sure to miss out on the big encounter. Otherwise, they have a full squad to choose from.
Arsenal v Blackpool: Probable Line-ups
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Monreal, Holding, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner; Ramsey, Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan, Smith Rowe, Iwobi; Welbeck
Blackpool (4-3-3): Howard; Nottingham, Heneghan, Tilt, Bola; Spearing, Guy, Thompson; Feeney, Delfouneso, Cullen
Arsenal v Blackpool: Form Guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Arsenal v Blackpool: Head-To-Head
Arsenal wins: 43
Blackpool wins: 15
Arsenal v Blackpool: Key Players
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is playing second fiddle to other first-team stars such as Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in recent games, but there are no questions regarding his abilities with the football. The Armenian is crafty, creative and sharp with his footwork. The onus will be on him to create chances and help Arsenal progress to the next round comprehensively.
In the absence of top-scorer Gnanduillet, Mark Cullen will be tasked with the goal-scoring challenge against a formidable Arsenal side, in front of the crowd at the Emirates. If he can complete a couple of take-ons and fire a few shots on goal, the away fans will be in for a treat.
Arsenal v Blackpool: Prediction
The Gunners might field a weaker side for the clash but will show no mercy against the Seasiders. If the visitors don't play with all their heart, they are most likely to be blown away by a side in rampant form at the moment. Expect more than three goals scored by the hosts.
Predicted score: Arsenal 4-0 Blackpool