Dec 10th, 2012 by 'holic
“We will have an experienced squad at Bradford. We have a good recovery time ahead of the game at Reading on Monday. So we can use the players we want to use.”
I would be surprised if that wasn’t Wengercode for ‘We will pretty much start the side that played at Olympiacos last week’. The major difference between the midweek cup fixtures may be the quality of the players on the bench. It would make some sense to rest key players like Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, and Lukas Podolski, but have them available to come on at some stage if we require that little extra bit of quality to secure the result.
Certainly I can see at very least eight of those who started in Greece getting the nod to start against the League Two promotion chasers. Do you want to make yourself worried before the game gets underway? Then you’ll just need to recall the Bantams qualified for this COCup quarter-final by winning on penalties away to Premier League Wigan Athletic. Want to feel better? Their two home defeats this season came at the hands of Port Vale and Exeter City, although both by the only goal of the game.
The winners will book a semi-final berth alongside, probably, Chelsea, Swansea City, and Norwich City. No easy matches there, but close enough to offer a tantalising glimpse of a first League Cup success for a manager in need of just such a lift. Victory would see Arsenal set a new outright League Cup record by qualifying for the semi-finals for the fifteenth time, but Final defeats against Chelsea and Birmingham City are the best Arsene’s Arsenal have managed. We last lifted this trophy in the domestic cup double season of 1993.
The conditions and a lively Yorkshire crowd will make this a test of our squad strength, but as tough as Athens just a week ago? Provided the attitude is right then we should be up to the task. The ‘holic pound seeks a rare hat-trick of successive results. Gunners Gaming offer 10/1 against a 3-1 away win. If we approach it correctly that looks value for money. Don’t forget to click on the banner above to have your punt. Thanks.
For those that are going, wrap up against the elements and get behind the boys in the shirt. Those of us left behind in the UK have the benefit of Sky Sports 2 showing the game live, doubtless praying for an upset. It will make a nice change not having to stay up until after midnight to watch a delayed stream of a match against lower league opposition. Wherever you are I’m sure there will be some decent stream options as a result of the Sky broadcast.
That’s it for now. Come back after the match for my initial thoughts on the performance.
Take care ‘holics.
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