Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
31st January 2007
A place in the League Cup final is at stake on Wednesday as Arsenal 'welcome` (yeah right) Spurs to The Grove for the Carling Cup semi final second leg.
Spurs took a 2 goal lead at White Hart Lane before Julio Baptista`s brace brought the game back to 2-2, a comeback instigated by a sensational second half performance from Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas has put in few better performances in the red and white but the youngster looks set to be rested for the second leg.
Arsenal should go into the game full of confidence after their second half performance at WHL but the absence of Baptista could provide a big psychological blow for the youngsters.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott is close to finding the net: 'In the past he has scored goals for fun. At the moment he had not scored, so it must play a part on his mind.
'What convinces me is he is such a good finisher in training and the way he took his last two chances was a bit hesitant.
'That means it is playing certainly a big part on his mind.' Wenger added: 'He is on the verge of getting over it [dip in form].
'Theo has made the biggest step now. It is part of growing - being hit by the expectation level.
'When you start, no one expects anything from you.
'Once you are established as a name, people expect something special from you every time you touch the ball.
'It is part of the maturing process to get over that and learn to deal with and stick to what made your game strong.'
Arsenal could see Manu Eboue and Johan Djourou return from injury for the visit of Tottenham.
Gallas, Van Persie, Baptista, Ljungberg and Hleb are all confirmed as injured while Gilberto Silva returns from his 3 match ban
The young striker/winger is due a goal in Arsenal's colours.
He has been lacking in confidence of late and I'm sure Arsene will have taken him to one side to reassure him.
Walcott first goal and Arsenal to win 2-0 with Ladbrokes is 45/1. Got to be worth a punt, no?
Ledley King and Dimitar Berbatov are injured and will miss the game. Mido faces a fitness test after suffering a back injury
The tricky winger could cause Traore some problems down Arsenal's left so whoever players on the left wing will need to get back and support him.
I'm going for a 2-1 arsenal victory. Walcott to open the scoring before Aliadiere adds a second. Jenas with a late goal for Spurs.
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Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
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