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Four Arsenal academy graduates train ahead of Sunderland clash

Arsenal entertain Sunderland in tonight’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have been in fine Premier League form lately with three straight wins. They will be aiming to continue the good run later today.

Ahead of the game, Folarin Balogun, Charlie Patino, Salah Oulad and Omar Rekik were all spotted training with the first-team squad.

With the Under 23s only due to return to action from January 7, the quartet could be involved in the matchday squad against the Black Cats.

Balogun made his debut last term. The 20-year-old already has nine senior appearances. He could start up front if Mikel Arteta opts to rest Alexandre Lacazette.

Patino and Salah may not make their debuts, but Rekik could be in line to feature with centre-back duo Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes likely to be rested.

With Pablo Mari sidelined with Covid-19, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers appear the likely choices in central defence. Rekik could come off the bench.

The Gunners have not won the League Cup since 1993. They have come close and lost in the final on three occasions, with the last one being in 2018.

Manchester City have recently dominated the competition with four straight trophies, but they have been eliminated this time.

Arteta will be hoping to end the Gunners’ wait for another League Cup title. It won’t be a surprise if some regular starters are picked with a semi-final place up for grabs.

The Gunners will be favourites to beat League One side Sunderland, but can’t be complacent. Black Cats boss Lee Johnson previously guided Bristol City to the last four.

The Championship outfit stunned Manchester United in the quarter-final of the 2017/18 season.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

Read: Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Sunderland – Carabao Cup.

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