After their 3-0 win against FK Ostersunds on Thursday night, Arsenal can rest players next week. So here are three must-protect players ahead of the Carabao Cup final.
The Carabao Cup final is just ten days away. It could well be the most important game of Arsenal’s season. Bad news, then, that it comes against arguably the best team in the Premier League era, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Gunners will have to be at the top of their game and Arsene Wenger will have to make sure that he has every top player available. Good thing that his team dispatched FK Ostersunds by three goals on Thursday.
As a result, Wenger can now look to resting some his more important players. So, here are three must-protect individuals ahead of the Carabao Cup final and the remainder of the season.
3. Jack Wilshere
The very fact that Jack Wilshere is currently available for selection and playing is a surprise. This is a player who hasn’t made more than 30 league appearances or 2000 minutes since his breakthrough season in 2010/11. Nevertheless, not only is he fit to play, but he’s playing well.
That, though, does not mean that Wenger can be gung-ho with Wilshere and his notoriously vulnerable ankles. Wilshere’s minutes must be managed carefully; his body must be listened to. Even though he is not perhaps considered an entrenched starter, with Aaron Ramsey suffering from a myriad of muscular issues, ranging from an extended hamstring lay-off and curious groin issue, Wilshere’s importance cannot be understated.
Wenger, seemingly, knows it. Wilshere was not even included in the matchday squad for the first leg victory over FK Ostersunds. It would be very surprising if he was included for the second leg in a week’s time. With a three-goal advantage, he is not needed. The same cannot be said for the cup final three days later. Protection and rest, therefore, is of the utmost importance.