I see my trusted colleague has already done a preview of this match, therefore to avoid any repition I will look at players I would like to start and why. F.T.K has already stated he would like Eduardo to get a full 90 minutes tonight and I fully concur with this (read his article to see why). Tonight is another chance to see some of our fledging youngsters in action, so who would I like to see play?
Armand Traore – He was missing in the last round of the Carling Cup due to the fact he was away on International Duty. For me Traore is arguably the most exciting talent in the reserve team; his pace is electric and coupled with great skill and and an excellent delivery into the box he is an excellent attacking full back. His defending has certainly improved from last year and I would like to see him have a game in which the weather conditions are difficult, the stakes are quite high and in a game when the home team are out for revenge. Against Newcastle he showed real potential and showed the player he can be. He is rated highly by most Gooners and tonight is a perfect chance for him to gain some further experience in the first team.
Lassana Diarra – Whether he plays right back or in centre midfield I want him to start ahead of any other player in the squad tonight. This may seem strange but for me he was the best player on the park when we hosted Newcastle at the Emirates. He controlled the game with such ease and this was against players who play week in week out in the Premiership. He keeps it simple and plays the easy pass. As well as being assured on the ball he is brilliant in the tackle. Against Sheffield United one crunching tackle simply sticks in my mind and I can see him being the destroyer in our team for years to come. He came to us to get more first team football and now I would like to see it. He could play alongside Gilberto or Denilson tonight or replace Sagna. Either way I want to see him given a starting role.
Theo Walcott – Having played a major part in taking Slavia Prague apart in the home tie I bet he is itching to get another chance to do so. The thing Theo needs to do is be more consistent and lately he has shown he can do this. His two goals were a major confidence boost and whenever he has come on lately he has made a big difference. He has learnt to use his pace to greater effect and his intelligence has shone through a lot more on the pitch. A partnership of Eduardo and Walcott may not work as they are too similar. Therefore he should play right wing
So who would I like to see get a game up front?
Nicklas Bendtner – Against Sheffield United he was brilliant. He showed great ball control, ability in the air, a good range of passing all blended together with hunger and hard work. He has the potential to be a top striker at this club; he is difficult for defenders to deal with and any striker with pace can feed off him easily. He has called for first team football and tonight could be the chacce to give him a confidence boost and let him prove a point. Eduardo and him combined well in their last game together and I would like to see them do this again tonight.
My team therefore would be: