Arsenal boss Arteta gives his verdict on AFC Wimbledon cup tie + fact opponents have nothing to lose in north London

Mikel Arteta is hoping to name his strongest Arsenal side for their EFL Cup fixture against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow night.

The Dons beat fellow South London club Charlton Athletic in the first round of the competition before defeating Northampton 1-0 in the second round.

Next up is a trip to north London.

Gunners manager Arteta said: “I hope that I can put out the strongest team I can. That means that the players have performed really well and then give a really strong performance and this is what we want to do.

“Those games are like any other game, an opportunity for anybody to show that he deserves to be in the team and we are wrong.”

The Dons have scored the second most goals in League One this season (15). When asked about AFC Wimbledon’s threat, Arteta replied: “I hope that we can expect goals from our side, but it’s true that they’ve been really open games with high scores. They are really direct, physical but at the same time, they have a big goal threat in many situations, so it will be a tough opponent.”

Wimbledon head into the tie as massive underdogs, and Arteta gave his thoughts on how you combat the fact that Arsenal are up against opponents who have nothing to lose: “Focus. Focus, demand the highest standards, prepare the same way or even better.

“Make the players understand that if somebody wants to play and is seeking an opportunity, it’s great that you’re doing the right things in training and your behaviour is good, but this is the opportunity to show us as well that you deserve to play and make it difficult for us in team selection, so there we are.”



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