Arsenal vs Liverpool
Wednesday 28th October 2009
The Emirates Stadium
Tomorrow sees our Carling Cup kids take on the mighty Liverpool – I say mighty because they’ve just beaten Man United and by and large, they are probably going to field the same team against us as they look to put out a strong team in a competition that they hope they will win.
Tomorrow will be a stronger team than the team that played against West Brom, as Arsene looks to play some of the players who have just returned from injury and some of the fringe players too. News coming out of the Emirates is that we will see the likes of Nasri, Bendtner and Eduardo all get a run out and those three players may be our three attacking players in the absence of young Jack Wilshere, who’s out with an ankle injury.
Arsene spoke briefly about the team news and revealed:
“Nasri comes back but Traore, who played in the last round is out. He has a groin problem. Fabianski will get a game too, he will start. But Jack had a knock on his ankle and will be out unfortunately. It is a question of days but we made a trial with him on Sunday and we are resigned to the fact he will be just too short to play. Eduardo and Bendtner will be back. But we still have Rosicky, Denilson and Walcott out.”
Based on that, you’d expect the following line up:
Eboue – Senderos – Silvestre – Gibbs
Coquelin – Randall
Nasri – Ramsey – Vela
With a bench made up of Wojas Schnezy (no idea if I spelt that right), Gilbert, Song, Watt and Eduardo (you can only have five on the bench in the Carling Cup).
I’ve heard a rumour that Francis Coquelin will start at right back with Ramsey and Randall in the two defensive midfield positions, Nasri central, and a front three of Eduardo, Vela and Nikky B – that would be some front three.
Coquelin is a player who has impressed me and although he’s only 18, I think he’s definitely one of the closest players to the first team out of this crop of youngsters – equally good as a right back or defensive midfield, he’s hoping he starts tomorrow:
“I’m really excited, I’m waiting for it. We’ve got a chance. It’s one game, anything can happen. I felt a little bit nervous but I really enjoyed the [West Brom] game and I hope to play against Liverpool. I think everyone will give 100 per cent in training and after that it’s the choice of the manager. I think Wenger will keep the young team; I hope so. But I think it’s better if we go with a bit more experience in the team as well.”
One player who I’m dying to see is the Mexican starlet. Personally, Carlos Vela is one of my favourite players and I can’t wait for him to get into and stay in the first team. I watched him in action during the summer and he was sensational for his country – for Mexico, he has the same effect as Wayne Rooney has for England, as Ribery is currently having for France – he is the creative hub that the forward play goes around. Vela has the ability to create something out of nothing and his shot range is fantastic – power, placement and lob – in equal measure.
The Mexican was on Arsenal TV today and had this to say:
“It’s going to be important to play against this team [Liverpool] in this game. I believe that every match I play for my team Arsenal is special for me and I don’t really care that much who we play, I just want to win. It could be a second division team, whoever, I just really want to win. This one is clearly special, because of the team we play against so it is important. This competition is very important for all the young players. It is not a reserves or lower league competition, so we have the opportunity to prove ourselves at a high level and that is always the test for a player. It also means that the younger players can use this competition to show the boss what they have learned and what they can do if the get an opportunity in the first team.
One of the great thing about playing at home is that our young team has 60,000+ fans vying them on, and it all plays a part.
“Yes! Absolutely. Playing at home is something that always motivates you more when you’ve got all the support of the fans. You have in your mind that you just can’t lose. When you play at home it is just a matter of win or win. Those are the only options.”
So, it’s time to get ready for one of the biggest games of the season in one of the smallest competitions in our list – but in all honesty, Arsenal versus Liverpool is always a big game isn’t it?
And finally, some news about me – I’m off for a mini American tour tomorrow – I fly off to New York and then head on to Vegas, San Francisco and Toronto, to name a few others… I’ll have internet access throughout my journeies for work, so that’ll mean I should be able to post around this time too. I’m on the underground as I type this up, but hopefully when I’m overground, I can rope good old JAT into some mid-season blogging…
I will be back tomorrow before I leave no doubt, so, til then…