09th January 2007
The mighty Arsenal travel to Merseyside today to take on Liverpool in the second game of their cup double header.
Round 1 went to Arsenal after Tommy Gun delivered 2 outstanding right hooks in the first round before Henry delivered a jab in the final minutes to K.O the Kop.
Wenger is expected to field a much more youthful side today (you wouldn`t think it possible!) as he rests some of the big guns in preparation for our trip up to Blackburn on Saturday.
The Gunners have been criticized in recent years for using the competition to blood the younger players and give some fringe players a run out. I think the jibes and totally wrong. Arsene is taking the competition very seriously. We all know how much Wenger puts the emphasis on youth so often. So think about it….Arsene knows!
Tomas Rosicky: 'In almost every game we have created so many chances and not taken them. Compare that to the game on Saturday when we were very productive.
'For example, I don't feel I played a good game even though I scored twice
'This is a very good team but we have to be smarter. We have to avoid mistakes and take our chances.'
Liverpool goal scorer in the FA Cup game, Dirk Kuyt: 'We deserved more than we got on Saturday but Arsenal are one of the better teams in the Premier League so we know it will be tough.
'I hope that first defeat gives us an extra boost.
'Players always want to win trophies. There are a few more to fight for and the Carling Cup is one of them.'
Liverpool Team News:
Liverpool will field a very strong side, possibly even their first choice X1.
Bellamy returns from injury to replace Peter Crouch, Gerrard is expected to start although Dudek is expected to start in goal.
Player to watch: Craig Bellamy
The Welsh striker has a reasonable scoring record against Arsenal and with Arsene Wenger expected to field a youthful side, he will be looking to use his pace and movement to cause trouble for the Arsenal defence.
Arsenal Team News:
Thierry Henry is rested for the trip up north, Eboue is injured, Lauren and Gallas aren't fit enough to travel While Ljungberg is still a couple of weeks away.
The squad is as follows:
2. Abou Diaby
4. Francesc Fabregas
5. Kolo Toure
9. Julio Baptista
17. Alex Song
20. Johan Djourou
21. Mart Poom
24. Manuel Almunia
30. Jeremie Aliadiere
31. Justin Hoyte
32. Theo Walcott
33. Matthew Connolly
40. Henri Lansbury
43. Mark Randall
45. Armand Traore
Player to watch: Theo Walcott
The youngster seems to thrive on big occasions so I expect a performance from him tonight. Perhaps even a goal?
I'll put it over on the forum as usual, come over and check it out!