Burnley v. Arsenal
Arsene's Kids will look to continue the new found momentum that the Arsenal first team has created with the wins over Kyiv and Chelsea, and advance to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
Burnley made all the headlines last round in their stunning upset of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and the group of players that Owen Coyle has at his disposal will surely be eying another Big 4 scalp for their mantle.
Again Arsenal was questioned over the possibility of using a few more first team players. 'It will be the usual team for us,' Wenger told Arsenal's official website.
'But then with all the players we have out it may be even younger than before.
'The players who were on the bench at Chelsea will be involved, but those who started will not.
'That means Silvestre will play and so will Fabianski of course. We have some other first-team players [who] will play too - Vela and Bendtner.'
Burnley's leading scorer, 21 year old striker Martin Paterson, has expressed his excitement at playing the Young Guns. 'It will be enjoyable to come up against some of their players, but we'll be giving it a really good go,' admitted Paterson.
'It's a game of football and anything can happen.'
'We've got to be professional and turn up and work hard first and foremost, because if you don't work hard against Arsenal they're going to pass through you and make you look silly.'
'We don't want them to come here and do that to us.'
Burnley Team News:
Good news for the Clarets is that Wade Elliot could possibly be back for this tie. He will face a fitness test on Tuesday to determine the progression of his groin strain. Though defender Christian Kalvenes has been ruled out, as has Remco van der Schaa. Striker Steven Thompson will also take no part in this fixture due to cup ineligibility.
Player to watch: Martin Paterson
As was stated in the quotes, the 21 year old is Burnley's leading scorer. The Northern Ireland international has netted 7 times in 18 appearances for Burnley this campaign.
Arsenal Team News:
As Arsene said, nobody that started the Chelsea game on Sunday will play a part in this one. That means Johan Djourou, the rock in the defense during the previous Cup games, will not feature tomorrow. Though Bendtner will be recalled to the starting lineup after missing the last game against Wigan. Silvestre will the experience in the Arsenal team, and his know how will be crucial in settling down the young Gunners on their trip op North.
Player to watch: Carlos Vela
Of course Vela is always a player to watch for this team because of his immense skill and speed with the football, but I pick him here because I want to see his adjustment to the cold weather and physical nature of this game.
Match Facts & Stats
A big talking point for this match will be the weather, so being a meteorology student myself I thought I might give the forecast for tomorrows match. The high will be 2C with winds from the west at 10-15 mph. It will be cloudy with lows reaching -6C, and there is a 90% chance of afternoon snow.
Burnley has beat Bury, Oldham Athletic, Fulham, and Chelsea to get to the quarterfinals.
It will certainly not be a walk in the park for Arsenal, but I am very optimistic about this squad going all the way to lift the trophy. I will say a 4-2 win for Arsenal at the Turf Moor.
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10/12 (Wed)- FC Porto (A)- Champions League
13/12 (Sat)- Middlesbrough (A)- Premier League