Carling Cup: Youth With A Hint Of Experience
Arsene Wenger has opted for, as expected, youthful squad with a tinge of experience for tonight's Carling Cup quarter final clash with Manchester City at Eastlands.
Wenger's kids have made to, at very least, the quarter final stages of this competition now for as long as I can remember, and the manner in which his young charges have achieved it ensures that all Gooners find this competition compelling rather as an added unnecessary work load.
Adding experience to tonight's squad will be Tomas Rosicky, as he continues his rehabilitation after 200 years out injured (I'd assume he'll take the captains armband), Alex Song, who is young, fit and this extra game shouldn't be too much of a burden, Emmanuel Eboue who is an excellent squad player purposely built for nights just like this, and Mikel Silvestre, who, let's face it, is just about capable of playing in this competition.
There's also a kind of second tier of experience, if you will, with Carling Cup specialists Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshere who have impressed mightily in the competition in recent years, and the ever present Aaron Ramsey who has featured in more Arsenal squads this year than any other player. There's also Lukas Fabianski, and I believe if he puts in a good performance tonight we'll see him retain his place against Stoke on Saturday, relegating the hapless Manuel Almunia to the bench.
We then have the exciting prospect of watching young players such as Craig Eastmond, Francis Coquelin and Fran Merida try and make their mark.
With the added fireworks of going head to head with Man City again so soon after the contentious Premier League match (plus the possibility of facing Adebayor once again), it means this game is one you really don't want to miss.
Arsenal Squad in full:
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Vito Mannone (GK)