“Que Sera Sera… We’re going to Wembley”

WTTGT Writer: Leke Olowo-okere

Carling Cup, Emirates Stadium

Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 19:45

After a weekend of incredible results in the premier league Arsenal’s attention turns to League Cup action, on Tuesday night as they challenge Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup for a place in the fifth round.

The Gunners have endured a stuttering start to their 2011/12 campaign so far, but a run of three straight wins in all competitions has ignited a new found confidence in the Gunners team. The Trotters however have suffered a miserable run of form in the premiership, 7 loses in their 9 outings has left them languishing in the bottom three. Arsenal have not tasted defeated against Bolton at home in 14 outings stretching back to their encounter in the FA Cup back in the 1993/94 season.

Arsenal has fared admirably on home soil this season winning 7 out of 8 games at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger’s side will be hoping for more of the same after confidently dispatching The Trotters 3-0 at the Emirates recently on September 24th.

Bolton, meanwhile, will arrive in North London aware that their record at the Emirates makes for uncomfortable reading. They will however take heart from their encouraging and surprising performance in the third round of the carling cup, two second half goals from Chris Eagles and Gael Kakuta helped Bolton on their way to a victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park.


Arsenal are currently still without 5 recognised defenders, notably the only long-term casualty remains Bacary Sagna who fractured his fibula in the defeat against Spurs. Wenger finds himself short of numbers and facing a selection headache due to the injury crisis at the back, he may decide to start with the two full-backs he selected against Stoke, Andre Santos and Johan Djourou. After an assured performance in the last round of the Carling Cup against Shrewsbury Town, Ignasi Miquel is expected to come back into the Carling Cup line-up at the heart of the defence. Arsene Wenger is likely to rest most of his starting eleven  that featured against Stoke which will allow fringe players, young prospects and players working their way back into fitness a run out. Members of the squad that were on the bench against Stoke are expected to feature, this includes Fabianski, Frimpong, Benayoun, Rosicky and Park.

Bolton Wanderer’s defender Dedryck Boyata will miss tomorrow’s match after limping off during the second-half of the weekends defeat to Sunderland and he is also ineligible because of an agreement with his parent club, Manchester City. Marcos Alonso has been training with the Bolton Reserve squad but tomorrow night’s fixture may be too soon for him as he requires a behind closed doors game to assess his progress. The other notable absentees in the Bolton ranks are long-term injuries to Mark Holden, Tyrone Mears and Chung-Yong Lee. Owen Coyle earlier today stated he will rotate his starting 11 giving opportunities to other members of the squad, according to the official Bolton Wanderers websites Owen Coyle said, “Adam Bogdan, Gretar Steinsson, Ricardo Gardner, Mark Davies, Fabrice Muamba, Gael Kakuta, Tuncay and Ivan Klasnic will all play. Joe Riley will also be in the 18-he is a player who has progressed really well”.


With Owen Coyle sending out a strong line-up against a depleted Arsenal defence, this makes for a very interesting game. Experienced strikers Tuncay and Ivan Klasnic will look to exploit the inexperience and occasional lacklustre Gunner’s defence. Miquel and Djourou will have to be at their best to stop the talented pair from causing an upset at the Emirates. With Arsene Wenger likely to stick to his favoured 433 formation he may choose to pick to the same 3 in midfield that dominated large spells against the League 2 side Shrewsbury. Francis Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong and Yossi Benayoun will be expected to control the game and offer the gunners attack support, Bolton players such as Mark Davies and Fabrice Muamba will be trying their best to disrupt the Gunners slick passing style and gain a foot hold in the game. The newest Arsenal youngster to set the stage alight Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain will be looking to keep up his fine form for Arsenal and England U21’s in this fixture. The Bolton defence will have to be at their best to stop Chamberlain’s pace, skill and crossing ability. Another of the Gunners newest youngsters is Ryo Miyachi who had a very impressive spell in the Dutch Eredivisie with Feyenoord last season , he will be looking to make his first competitive start for Arsenal and show why players such as Robin Van Persie are praising him as one of the best up and coming youngsters in the world.


ARSENAL – Fabianski, Yennaris, Djourou, Miquel, Santos, Chamberlain, Coquelin, Frimpong, Benayoun, Miyachi, Park

BOLTON – Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Cahill, Robinson, Davies, Kakuta, Muamba, Gardner, Tuncay, Klasnic



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