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League Cup

  • November 30, 2010
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 59525

Carling Cup Preview: Arsenal - Wigan Athletic

Carling Cup Preview: Arsenal - Wigan Athletic

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.

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 could 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 give the forward's inclusion a long hard think before the Latics' visit.

Possible starting XI: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci
, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Rosicky, 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 wonder kid 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.

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Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
27Emmanuel EboueDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
14Theo WalcottStriker
11Carlos VelaStriker
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
55James SheaGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
40Craig EastmondDefender
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
41Jay Emmanuel-ThomasMidfielder
16Havard NordtveitDefender
8Samir NasriMidfielder
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
2S. GohouriDefender
13Steven CaldwellDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
-Ronnie StamDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
-James McArthurMidfielder
20H. ThomasMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
-Mauro BoselliStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
39Jordan MustoeMidfielder
9Franco Di SantoStriker
15Callum McManamanStriker
Editor's Prediction

From the web

From the web