Tonight we face Newcastle away from home in the Carling Cup. In the last round when we taught the Spuds a lesson, Newcastle themselves overcame Chelsea. They have an overall one more win than us against us in all competitions; still they haven’t won the last seven cup ties against us. The stats are here and the facts here.
In team news, Wenger has announced almost the whole starting lineup that will be playing today. On the injury front we still have Van Persie, Vermaelen, Almunia and Ramsey out. Other than that there have been no new injuries. I am not sure about Diaby though he is in the squad, if anyone has any news on him please remind me in the comments.
Wenger has said that we are not taking any tournament lightly. So we will see an experienced team with youngsters in between.
Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Lansbury, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela.
Szczesny, Koscielny, Vela, Walcott and Bendtner are confirmed starters today. It will be the first start for Szczesny this season and I am looking forward to it. Bendtner, Walcott and Koscielny are returning from injury with former two already making substitute appearances in the last match. Other than that I feel Gibbs is going to start for sure and Eboue might also feature on the flanks to give rest to Sagna and Clichy. I am going with Djourou to partner Koscielny to give him some more playing time as he looked vulnerable in the last match. In the middle I am going with Denilson and Rosicky just to have more experience in creating the goals and Lansbury, I feel, is going to return as he had a good game against the spuds. Also we might see Eastmond and JET at some point in the match too.
As for Newcastle, news has been flowing around that they too are going to put up a changed squad. They did that against Chelsea and still won the game. So it’s not going to be a walk in the park. They might not be bothered much about the cup as surviving in the premiership will be their main task; still they would put up a fight.
So we would need to be at our best. Complacency is not to be shown by our team. We would have to kill this game early and not let it go into extra time. We have the momentum with us and the all the players are responding. So hopefully we can nail it in style and get one step closer to ending our trophy drought.
Keep the faith.