Arsenal V N'castle Preview
Arsenal fans and pundits will get a chance to see Arsene's new class of Carling Cup kids tonight as The Gunners welcome Newcaslte for the third round of the Carling Cup.
Despite facing a team Wenger considers to be one of the best in Europe when Arsenal played Sevilla, Newcaslt will pose a greater challenge to Arsenal. Why? Simply because they have the dispicable Sam Alladyce at the healm and he'll send his troops out to ruffle a few feathers.
The Geordies have had a good start to the season under Fat Sam. They're sitting 5th in the Premiership and have lost just one game. OK, that game was to one of the worst teams to have played in the Premiership (Derby), but The Toon bounced back from that defeat by beating West Ham 3-1 at home.
Recent Form: P5 W3 D1 L1
Arsenal's only setback came in the form of a 1-1 draw away to Blackburn. Arsenal have won all of the other 8 games they have played.
Recent form: P5 W5 D0 L0
Fat Sam might be a dispicable person and might alledgedley be corrupt. but he is no fool. He knows that Arsene's young guns will pose a massive threat to his side's survival in the competition: 'It's nothing to do with age, it's to do with experience and if you look at the experience they have got, they are all well qualified now in Premier League football and cup football and a lot in European football.
'He is top of the league because of that at the moment, on the experience those young men have gained very, very quickly.
'He plays the kids every week - he plays (Cesc) Fabregas every week, so what's he? A kid.
'They have got lots of experience now and they have gained that experience from last year, getting right the way through to the Carling Cup final.
'This time, they should be better.'
Arsene Wenger confirmed that his policy this year will be the same as always, and explained his reasons: 'Our approach this season in the Carling Cup is the same as it has always been — give a chance to players who need games, give a chance to younger players who need to touch the top level and, of course, to win the games.
'It fits into our season very well because we just want to win the games and win the trophy. If you find a better team in our way then we find a better team but we will go out to win.
'Last season was fantastic and I was very proud of their run. We played in a convincing manner in every single game.
'I believe that where we are in the Champions League and the Premier League this season is down to that run.'
Arsenal Team News:
Manu Eboue is the only Arsenal player to return from injury. Many first team players will be rested, as usual.
Eduardo will get a start alongside Nicklas Bendtner up front, while Lassana Diarra will make his first start from the club. Fabianski will also make his Arsenal debut between the sticks.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alex Song will play at centre back for the Guuners.
Arsenal squad in full:
2 Abou Diaby
6 Phillipe Senderos
8 Lassana Diarra
17 Alexandre Song
21 Lukasz Fabianski
26 Nicklas Bendtner
27 Emmanuel Eboue
30 Armand Traore
31 Justin Hoyte
32 Theo Walcott
39 Henri Lansbury
40 Vito Mannone
41 Gavin Hoyte
42 Fran Merida
Player to watch: Eduardo Da Silva
The Arsenal new boy will get his first taste of Orcball when he lines up agaisnt Newcastle. I'm tipping the him to show the physical and mental strength to over-come it and shine for the Gunners.
The second Arsenal player to score his first hat trick for the club in a week? Nah, but I think he could come away with a brace.
Newcastle Team News:
Stephen Carr, Celestine Babayaro, Joey Barton, Damien Duff and Peter Ramage will be joined on the sidelines by Michael Owen and Claudio Cacapa.
Viduka took a knock during Newcastle's weekend win over West Ham, but he should be fit to face the Gunners. Emre is set to return after 2 weeks out.
Player to watch: Charles N'Zogbia
I've been a fan of the young Frenchman since he came on for Newcaslt to make his debut as an 18-year-old. He has power, pace, a lethal shot and a decent range of passing. What more could you want from a winger?
This season he is proving that he is indeed a class player. During Saturday's 3-1 win he bagged a goal and a two assists.
Coward, I mean Howard Webb will take control of Arsenal's first Carling Cup game since he bottled in furing the Carling Cup final last season. Luckily for him, Adebayor will not play.
2-1 Arsenal. The Gunners will show yet more mental strength and character by over coming another physical test.