Arsenal predicted lineup vs Liverpool - Carabao Cup

Max Parsons
Arteta is missing some key players
Arteta is missing some key players / Harriet Lander/GettyImages

It's been a long wait, but Arsenal's wait for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool is finally over.

The two sides will square off on Thursday after a Covid-19 outbreak - now discovered to be full of false positives - saw the initial tie postponed.

Mikel Arteta is without a handful of first-team regulars because of a combination of illness, injury and AFCON duty, but he will still expect a response following Arsenal's humiliating exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest.

Here's how he could set up.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Gabriel Magalhaes
Gabriel is free to return / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Bernd Leno (GK) - Since losing his first-choice role to Aaron Ramsdale, Leno has completed each of Arsenal's previous three EFL Cup fixtures, and should continue here.

Cedric Soares (RB) -
First-choice right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu is set to miss this one with a calf injury, so Portugal international Cedric is likely to deputise here.

Ben White (CB) -
Started the Forest defeat but will demand more of himself here.

Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) -
His suspension is now over so Gabriel should return at centre-back.

Kieran Tierney (LB) -
With Nuno Tavares in a bit of a slump, starting Tierney is a no-brainer.

2. Midfielders

Charlie Patino
Patino could get another start / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Albert Sambi Lokonga (DM) - Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are away at AFCON and Granit Xhaka has been out with Covid-19, so Lokonga could be the 'experienced' one in midfield.

Charlie Patino (DM) - You can see why Arteta is so desperate for another senior midfielder. Nevertheless, it's a good chance for Patino to justify the hype.

Bukayo Saka (RM) - Saka's red-hot form hit a bump against Forest but he more than deserves the chance to get it going again.

Alexandre Lacazette (AM) - Both Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard are expected to be unavailable on Thursday night, so Arteta may be forced to play Lacazette in a deeper role.

Gabriel Martinelli (LM) - Excellent against Man City but underwhelming against Forest, Martinelli also needs to get things back on track.

3. Forward

Eddie Nketiah
Nketiah is widely expected to leave Arsenal in the near future / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Eddie Nketiah (ST) - With the sheer amount of injuries and absences on his hands, Arteta may be forced to turn to wantaway Nketiah to lead the line following his hat-trick in the quarter-finals. Who knows, this could well be his final appearance for the club.

You can read 90min's Liverpool vs Arsenal preview here.