Team news, stats and how to watch ahead of Arsenal vs Sunderland in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday; kick-off 7.45pm.
Arsenal could be without full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Sunderland because of a muscle injury. Pablo Mari and Albert Sambi Lokonga are both out after testing positive for Covid.
Asked whether he has had to take a different approach to Covid-19 in recent weeks, Mikel Arteta replied: “Have a really positive approach and your mindset ready that unpredictable things are going to happen – and stop complaining about everything that happens.
“Then you will find excuses. We can find excuses for everything. We know what is going to happen, we know bad news will come probably, so we have to expect it and try to prevent it if we can with all the protocols we have.
“But we have to be prepared as well with Plan B, C and D.”
Sunderland manager Lee Johnson said an unnamed player returned a positive Covid test on Monday and will miss the tie at Emirates Stadium. Leon Dajaku is doubtful after suffering a knock at the weekend.
Johnson will send Sunderland out at Arsenal on Tuesday night promising a “blood and guts” performance as they attempt to upset the odds to reach the semi-finals.
“Obviously it’s nice to be on this stage tomorrow pitting our wits against one of the best teams in the country,” he said.
“Yes, we’re the underdog, but that industrious spirit, I’m sure, will be on display in this game and Arsenal will have to work hard for everything they get.
“That’s the key, to make sure that everything we do, we do it strongly and powerfully in our way, and I think the fans will respect that sort of blood and guts performance.”
How to follow
Live EFL Cup
Tuesday 21st December 7:00pm
Arsenal vs Sunderland is live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm; kick-off 7.45pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out…
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Sunderland in all competitions (W8 D3) since a 2-0 loss in the FA Cup fifth round in February 2012. This is the first meeting between the sides since May 2017, a 2-0 win for Arsenal in the Premier League.
- Sunderland have progressed from just one of their three League Cup ties with Arsenal, winning 3-2 at Highbury in the third round in 2002-03.
- Only Brentford (12) have scored more goals than Arsenal (11) in this season’s League Cup, with the Gunners also yet to concede this term. They last had a longer run of goals scored without reply in the competition with a run of 15 between the 1987 final against Liverpool and their 1987-88 semi-final second leg tie against Everton.
- Sunderland haven’t lost a League Cup match since August 2018 (0-2 vs Sheffield Wednesday). They’ve won six and drawn three of their nine games since, with both of their eliminations in that time coming via penalty shootouts.
- Arsenal are looking to reach the League Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2017-18, being eliminated at this stage in two of the last three campaigns. The Gunners have progressed from 15 of their last 16 League Cup ties against sides from the third tier or lower, failing only against Bradford in the 2012-13 quarter-final.
- Sunderland are looking to reach the League Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2013-14. The Black Cats have progressed from their last three League Cup ties away against London clubs, a run which started with a 3-2 win at Arsenal in November 2002.
In the latest Essential Football Podcast, host Alice Piper is joined by Ben Ransom and Gerard Brand to discuss an eventful weekend of Premier League football, despite only four games taking place.
PART ONE | Was Spurs 2-2 Liverpool the game of the season? Why Liverpool’s weaknesses make for an outstanding spectacle, plus analysis of Man City’s 4-0 win over Newcastle and another slip up for Chelsea.
PART TWO | Arsenal shine again at Leeds, but do they really need a new striker given Gabriel Martinelli’s form? Are Leeds in trouble? And would football really benefit from a Covid circuit-break?