If you cast your minds back to a few years back and a match at Bramall Lane in the Fa Cup. We drew the game 0-0 after Extra Time but came through after a penalty shootout. Then cast your minds back to last season on a cold new years eve night and another visit to Sheffield, we lost 1-0 that night. The main thing the Sheffield United teams we played against had in common was their desire and lionheart attitude. Even though Wenger will probably field the youngsters again – beating the leaders of the Premier League will be a major achievement should the United players pull it off. They will be up for it, the crowd will get behind them and our boys will have to stand up and be counted.
The team I expect to see out there tomorrow night is this:
Subs: Lehmann, Eboue, Merida, Adebayor, Rosicky,
The midfield will be the key area at Bramall Lane. If we can dominate this area then we can go thorugh the tie. The game will be scrappy and if we can isolate their wide men and stop balls into the box we can cut off their main source of supply to the front men. Diarra will have to run the game as he did against Newcastle in the 3rd round. I have every confidence he can do this after his fantastic performance at the Emirates last time. He has been craving a start and hopefully Wenger grants him this chance after two appearances on the bench in the last two matches. Diaby will be chosen to add some bite to what will otherwise be a small midfield. He is hard in the tackle but can also be a threat going forward. Denilson has fantastic vision and will make things happen if selected. Hopefully he can show us why Wenger rewarded him with a new 5 year contract. Theo Walcott just needs to be more consistent if he is to get a regular place in the first team side. He has looked sharp of late and his pace can really worry the Sheffield United defence.
The defence is the same as the last tie – why change what works. A key to the Carling Cup side this season will be a solidity at the back and a consistency. If this back four can work up a partnership it will bode well for this competition and the future years to come in the first team most likely. Fabianski I feel will be our Carling Cup keeper this season and showed promise in the last round.
Up front I would like Bendtner to put his awful miss behind him and get a goal tomorrow night. Against a big and awkward defence he is the perfect player to have up front. He is good in the air and can get about people with his pace and close control. Playing off him I would like to see Eduardo get a go to get match practice under his belt. He needs a goal and tomorrow night hopefully he will come good.
The bench will have experience on it as the tie is a tricky one. I would like Cesc, Gallas, Hleb and Flamini to be nowhere near Sheffield tomorrow. They need and deserve the rest before the United game. We need no unnescessary injuries before Saturday and I can see us getting bad luck with certain players. In other news; Hleb is to be rewarded with a new contract if reports are correct and I for one am delighted. His skill is immense and he has a remarkable eye for a pass. His form has been outstanding and this is the least he deserves.