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Why Thomas Partey was handed a surprise Arsenal start against Wimbledon

Why Thomas Partey was handed a surprise Arsenal start against Wimbledon

Arsenal host Wimbledon in Carabao Cup 3rd round

Following their 6-0 demolition of West Brom in the second round of the Carabao Cup, Arsenal play host to League 1 outfit AFC Wimbledon this evening. The Gunners are looking to build momentum after back-to-back 1-0 wins kick-started their season, following an international break spent at the foot of the Premier League.

There was a great deal of hope that the weaker opposition and nature of the competition, traditionally one in which youth is fielded, would see Mikel Arteta offer game time to some of the more impressive members of Arsenal’s U-23 side, such as Charlie Patino.

However, as was the case against the Baggies, the Spaniard opted for a strong starting XI, which includes Bernd Leno, Rob Holding, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alexandre Lacazette. While all could be classed as backup players, none offer the excitement of youth that the Arsenal faithful were craving. Nevertheless, should they get the job done, there will be no room for complaint.

Why Thomas Partey started

One of the more surprising players named to begin proceedings this evening, however, was Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey. So crucial to the Gunners, and with the North London derby just four days away (a game which he limped out of last season), fans were understandably left confused as to why Partey was risked for this evening’s tie.

However, Football.London journalist Chris Wheatley shed some light on the situation, revealing:

“Thomas Partey asked to play tonight as he looks to fine tune his match fitness ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.”

Should the midfielder come through unscathed, it would be a massive bonus for him to have further game-time under his belt. Should Partey pick up an injury, however, more than a few Arsenal fans will begin pointing fingers.

Read more:

Pep Guardiola pleads for Manchester City fans to attend games following Leipzig demolition

Aaron Ramsdale now Arsenal’s no.1 as Gunners look to cash in on Bernd Leno in January

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 8 13 19
2 Liverpool FC 8 16 18
3 Manchester City 8 13 17
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 8 3 15
5 Manchester United 8 6 14
6 Everton FC 7 5 14
7 Brentford FC 8 3 12
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 0 12
9 Tottenham Hotspur 7 -4 12
10 West Ham United 7 4 11
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14 Crystal Palace 7 -3 7
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Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
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Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 4
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 3
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Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
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