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The Carling Cup returns today with the visit of W.B.A to Emirates Stadium. This will be another oppourtunity for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal to showcase and parade the latest exciting crop of youngsters from the academy and reserves. As with the previous seasons, Wenger tends to blood the young players first in the 2nd national cup competition. But that may prove different with regards to one particular player.

Phillipe Senderos is set to return and possibly start his first Arsenal game in well over a season. The big Swiss who almost left the club after the loan stint at Milan and the subsequent offers that followed during pre-season 09/10. But twist of fate is sure to prolong his stay at Arsenal when his national team mate Johann Djourou suffered a long term injury. This is definitely the last chance saloon for Senderos to shine and reclaim his place in the first team that was once destined for him. If Senderos performed to the best of his abilities starting with this match, he will push Wenger’s hand when dealing with Gallas’ new contract.

Many of the youngsters from Steve Bould’s youth side and Neil Banfield’s reserves who are in the squad to face W.B.A tonight. Since the introduction of the 4-3-3 formation, the rest of age group squad incorporates and follows suit. So I will suspect the starting lineup to be more or less like this


Gilbert/Bartley    –   Senderos   –   Silvestre   –   Gibbs

Randall   –   Coquelin   –   Ramsey

Barazite   –   Vela   –   Wilshere

The midfield may look slightly thin against a Championship side who thrashed Boro at Riverside. Coquelin will have the Song role and needs to be discipline in his play to protect the back four. There’s enough experience in defense to merit stability. Ramsey needs to use this match to further show that he has matured from last season. Couple of substitute appearances showed that he has more assured touch and more composure this season.

How Wilshere perform will probably be critical to whether Arsenal wins this match. His close control and ability to find the perfect pass can set up the speedy duo of Barazite and Vela within sight of W.B.A’s goal. Should Vela be deemed not completely fit, Barazite will probably get the central role with Sanchez Watt coming in as the replacement. Watt was the star of the Youth Cup winning side of last season. He is by far the fastest or the 4 and his left foot can be trusted upon to deliver goals should the chance arise.

Yet again, Wenger has contributed not only to the first team but has built an immaculate and unmatchable coaching staffs who not only find new talents but also nuture them along the lines of the first team squad. Every position, there’s a like for like replacement from the Under-18’s and Reserves for the first team. The future is very exciting.

Enjoy the game wherever you’re watching. Talk to you again tomorrow.