Wenger to field 'mixed' side against Saints


Arsene Wenger admitted that he will field a strong but mixed squad in Arsenal's EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton, and that Carl Jenkinson is in line for a start.

The Gunners' boss also insisted that Sunday's 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League was a big win to relieve pressure on the squad after three straight draws in all competitions.

Alexis Sachez scored a brace for Arsenal, with goals coming either side of a Theo Walcott header, meaning that Wenger's side are heading into Wednesday's cup clash at Emirates Stadium full of confidence.

"We will have a mixture of youth and experience, but still 90 per cent of a first-team squad," Wenger said.

"We were in a winning momentum and suddenly you only make draws, so it gets a little bit in the head of the players. For us, I think it was an important step to win against Bournemouth, and having watched the game again, I think we played better than I thought after the game."

Wenger claimed that Jenkinson is a player who benefits from having a run of games, and is hopeful that the 24-year-old will show improvements in his play against the Saints.

"Carl Jenkinson will play. I rested him completely against Bournemouth because he played two big games and I felt he needed a breather. Sometimes, mentally three games in a week demands a lot. Carl's back in tomorrow and we'll put Gabriel in the centre, and then we will see for Saturday.

"You forget that it's a big ask. Carl is very conscientious and it takes him time to play completely with freedom. He needs a run of games to play with freedom, so the fact that he can get another game tomorrow, I think we'll already see a different Carl."

Arsenal's next Premier League clash comes at the London Stadium against West Ham United on Saturday, with the team looking to make ground on the three sides above them as they lie three points shy of the summit.