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League Cup

  • 30 November 2010
  • • 19:45
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 59525
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Arsenal - Wigan Athletic Preview: Robin van Persie to start, but Sebastien Squillaci to miss out

Arsenal - Wigan Athletic Preview: Robin van Persie to start, but Sebastien Squillaci to miss out

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger won't be taking the League Cup lightly this season, and has already confirmed he will field a strong team for the visit of Wigan Athletic.

Captain Cesc Fabregas is still missing with the hamstring injury picked up in Braga last week, but returning striker Robin van Persie will start. The Dutchman has missed the last few months with an ankle injury but has warmed the bench in recent weeks and Wenger has promised to include the forward for the Latics' visit.

"Robin will certainly play, yes. But I haven't decided my starting line-up yet," he said.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Eboue's ligament damage has mysteriously cleared up and he will start, but Sebastien Squillaci has knee problems and will miss out.

Possible starting XI: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Eboue
, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Van Persie, Chamakh, Arshavin.

Wigan Athletic

Roberto Martinez went defensive for the trip to West Ham at the weekend and the move backfired as his team went down to a 3-1 defeat in what has already been dubbed a relegation battle.

The Italian could be tempted to go for it with nothing to lose at the Emirates (except a place in this season's League Cup, obviously) but the disappointing display of loanee Franco Di Santo at the Hammers means he could make way for Mauro Boselli and wonderkid Victor Moses - who showed more in his 30 minute cameo than Di Santo had all game.

Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Stam, Gohouri, S Caldwell, Figueroa; N'Zogbia, Diame, Gomez, Cleverley; Boselli, Moses.

Back on track

Without indulging in hyperbole, Arsenal's win at Aston Villa was their most important and timely victory ever recorded. It had been a bad week for Wenger's boys with a hard to swallow defeat at home to Spurs and a down right stuck in your throat 2-0 drubbing away at Braga.

But the 4-2 win at Villa Park indicated that not all is lost in the red and white ranks, and was made all the more impressive with the absence of Cesc Fabregas. Jack Wilshere, Marouane Chamakh and Samir Nasri all shone during the game (which saw former Gunner Robert Pires make his full debut for Villa) and with Cesc missing again against Wigan, Wenger will be hoping his new stars shine again.

Latics acid test

The defeat at West Ham drags the Latics back down into the Premier League relegation zone after a half decent start to the season that saw them go almost unbeaten in October. Cliche No.1: The League Cup is a chance to take your mind off the league and play uninhibited by worries of relegation. Cliche No.2: A cup run can distract you from the importance of league matters.

Either way, Martinez will need to see some sort of spark from his men, especially as Arsenal have lost their last two home matches (to Newcastle and Spurs) so are by no means the bullish Gunners side we've come to love and loath at the Emirates in recent years.

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Players to watch

J. Wilshere

Position: Midfielder

Games: 1

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
Handed the chance by Cesc Fabregas' continued injury absences this season, the young midfielder has blossomed in the middle of the park into an all-action player; getting stuck into challenges but also bombing forward to help in attack.

He scored with a neat diving header at Villa on Saturday and will be brimming with confidence, especially against a defence as leaky as Wigan's.

V. Moses

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Critics love to wax lyrical about England's next generation of shining stars, but there is one at Wigan who must be getting frustrated at the lack of action. Moses moved to the DW Stadium from Crystal Palace for £2 million in January but has seen chances limited, despite rave reviews when he has played.

Netting the winner with a neat finish against West Brom this month was an indication of what he can offer to a Latics side seriously low on confidence.

Editor's Prediction

It's the League Cup and anything can happen (Cliche No.3) but with the form of both sides going into this one, it's hard to look beyond a home win.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Arsenal

Wigan Athletic

Wins
4
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
Draw
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Wigan Athletic FC Wigan Athletic
95%

Top 3 Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
3 - 0
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Arsenal FC ARS
3 - 1
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Arsenal FC ARS
4 - 0
Wigan Athletic FC WIG

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