Arsenal are desperate for a win as they prepare to take on West Brom in the second round of the Carabao Cup this evening.
The Gunners have made a terrible start to the 2021/22 season, losing 2-0 to both Brentford and Chelsea in the Premier League to leave manager Mikel Arteta under fire already.
Arteta has been hampered by injuries and COVID-19, but the nature of his side’s performances has left a lot to be desired.
As such, Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fixture against Championship side West Brom has taken on greater importance.
With Manchester City on the horizon this weekend before the international break, a morale-boosting victory in the West Midlands is a must tonight.
Here are some of the players who have a point to prove in the match, with just six days of the transfer window remaining.
Ramsdale should make his Arsenal debut against the Baggies following the completion of his £24million move from Sheffield United last week.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper was brought in to provide competition for Bernd Leno, so will be hoping to hit the ground running against the in-form side.
West Brom have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in the Championship so far, scoring a division-high 11 goals, so Ramsdale way well be busy.
Given his transfer fee and negativity currently surrounding the club, Ramsdale has plenty to prove in between the posts.
Mari has not enjoyed the best start to the season. He was a part of the side mauled by Brentford on the opening day before being bullied by Romelu Lukaku on the weekend.
Rio Ferdinand labelled the 27-year-old an “embarrassment” after the 2-0 loss against Chelsea and a comeback is needed.
Arteta could decide to take Mari out of the firing line, with Arsenal needing a clean sheet this evening.
However, with Ben White testing positive for coronavirus, his options are limited. If Mari does partner Rob Holding once again, then a performance is required ahead of the huge test against Man City.
There are still plenty of unresolved issues at Arsenal before the transfer window closes on August 31 – and one of them is the right-back position.
Calum Chambers could be Arteta’s first-choice, having started the opening match against Brentford, while Cedric Soares was given the role versus Chelsea.
While the Gunners could do with a new face in the position, given Hector Bellerin’s desire to move on, Maitland-Niles could provide a stop-gap solution.
The 23-year-old spent time on loan with West Brom last season but has been an unused substitute in both Premier League games so far.
A strong performance tonight could secure a place in the side for the future, or perhaps a move – either permanent or not – to another club.
Will Arsenal pick up their first win of the season against West Brom tonight? Have your say in the comments section below.
Arsenal need to win this match, so Arteta is unlikely to give minutes to those he wants to sell or send out on loan in the final few days of the transfer window.
Much more important is bedding in new arrivals – and Odegaard should start after securing a visa following his £30m transfer from Real Madrid.
Arsenal have missed his creativity in their opening two matches of the season and, as the club’s priority signing, the Norwegian has to prove his worth.
Emile Smith Rowe is highly thought of, but Odegaard is surely the first-choice in attacking midfield.
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No matter how serious the rumoured interest from Barcelona was, Aubameyang needs to show his commitment to Arsenal on the pitch.
The Gunners captain missed the Brentford game due to COVID-19 and came off the bench against Chelsea, leaving youngsters Folarin Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli to lead the line in his absence.
As the senior man up front and skipper, he should put his hand up and take responsibility.
Aubameyang managed just 10 Premier League goals last season, in comparison to 22 the season before, so needs to show he’s still got it at the age of 32.
Alexandre Lacazette is back in training and could feature this evening, but with uncertainty surrounding his and Eddie Nketiah’s future, it is Aubameyang who needs to show his class tonight.
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