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Holding, Bellerin and Tierney could start for Arsenal vs Forest as Emery reveals team news

22:30 BST 23/09/2019
Rob Holding Arsenal 2019/20
Unai Emery has revealed that the Scottish defender could make his debut in the Carabao Cup as two others return from injury

Rob Holding will start his first Arsenal game in 10 months on Tuesday night when the Gunners host Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.

The centre-back has not played for the first-team since the ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2-2 draw at Manchester United in December 2018.

But Unai Emery has confirmed that Holding is in line to start against Forest at the Emirates.

“Holding, I think, will play on Tuesday,” said Arsenal’s head coach.

Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney could also feature for the first time this season, having both played 62 minutes against Wolves for the Under-23s on Friday night.

Like Holding, Bellerin also ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee last season - suffering the injury in January during the 2-0 home win against Chelsea.

The Spaniard has been in full training for the past six weeks and Arsenal have been managing his return to fitness carefully.

Both he and summer signing Tierney - who has been out with a groin problem since his £25 million move from Celtic - have been working hard with the medical staff at London Colney and Emery hopes they will play a part against Forest and hasn't ruled out the prospect of them starting.

“We are going to decide on Tuesday [on Bellerin and Tierney],” said Arsenal’s head coach. “The first idea is if we can they'll have minutes. It depends on their feelings and the decision for the first XI.

“With Hector and Tierney we will want to use them. I don't know if it's starting in the first XI. If they're feeling well.”

Emery is expected to make wholesale changes for Tuesday night clash, with none of the players who started the win against Aston Villa on Sunday set to feature.

That will mean a first rest of the season for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Brazilian teenage forward Gabriel Martinelli in line for his full debut.

Mesut Ozil could come in having been an unused substitute against Villa, while Lucas Torreira, Calum Chambers, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson are also in contention to play.

“We played on Sunday and we're going to play on Tuesday,” said Emery. “It's not normal in two days. We need fresh players and different players.

“I think we’re not going to repeat one player [who started on Sunday].”