Arsenal v Brentford: Nigel Winterburn previews Carabao Cup clash as talented Emile Smith Rowe set to start
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Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has been previewing the Carabao Cup third round tie against Brentford at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Unai Emery’s side host the Bees in North London with highly-rated starlet Emile Smith Rowe expected to be handed his first start for the club.
The talented teenager made a huge impression on the boss and players alike after making his bow as a second half substitute for fellow academy graduate Alex Iwobi against Vorskla on Thursday as he helped the side to a 4-2 win.
Arsenal icon Winterburn is expecting more of the same ahead of the clash against the West Londoners who have sold around 9,000 tickets for the match.
Speaking in association with Play With A Legend the well-respected Winterburn told the Islington Gazette: “For me as a player I wanted to win every competition I played in but usually you’ll find with the Carabao Cup, teams mix and match.
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“I think it will be a similar mix to the Europa League match against Vorskla as I don’t think we’ll have a whole host of players that we can switch to.
“Some of our younger players have gone out on loan [such as Reiss Nelson to Hoffenheim].
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“It’s a good competition to blood youngsters in as you’re looking to see how they adapt to first team football and also whether they stamp their presence and style of play onto the game.
“You’ll see a lot of the first teamers who haven’t played many games along with one or two youngsters [such as Smith Rowe] come in.”
Defenders Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson and Sead Kolasinac miss the match through injury while Brentford defender Moses Odubajo could make his first appearance since rejoining the bees after a serious knee injury.
Full-back Rico Henry is still seeking match fitness after a knee issue.
The Bees are one of London’s oldest clubs and have had the better in the head-to-head against Arsenal overall including being the Gunners bogey during their first glory spell in the 1930s.
However, the teams have not played each other in a first-team fixture since May 1947 when Arsenal won 1-0 at Griffin Park in the side’s last top-flight encounter.
However, Brentford are one of only five English teams Arsenal have faced in a minimum of 10 games and lost more games against than they’ve won (P12 W3 D4 L5) – with the others being Liverpool, Manchester United, Notts County and Walsall.
Arsenal haven’t lost a home League Cup match against a side from outside the top tier since a notorious 2-1 defeat at Highbury against Walsall in November 1983 cost then manager Terry Neil his job.
Since then Arsenal have been unbeaten in 30 matches (W27 D3).
Nigel Winterburn was speaking at a Play With A Legend event.
For more information about Play With A Legend visit their website www.playwithalegend.com/arsenalhub and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @playwithalegend.
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29