Looks like Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski will make his first team debut for Arsenal this evening against Newcastle in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup.
It’s also clear that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will give some of his young squad players some good competitive experience against the Magpies. Lassana Diarra will probabaly make his first start for the club and Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson,Theo Walcott, Eduardo, Armand Traore, Alex Song, Justin Hoyte and Emmanuel Eboue are all in contention for starting positions.
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce will be without striker Michael Owen and defender Claudio Cacapra, who are both suffering from groin injuries, picked up in Sunday’s win against West Ham. Mark Viduka suffered a slight foot injury but it is not expected to keep him out of the starting line-up. Long term injured players Joey Barton, Emre, Peter Ramage, Damien Duff, Stephen Carr and Celestine Babayaro are all still out and not included in the squad.
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Traore, Senderos, Song, Hoyte, Diarra, Denilson, Diaby, Walcott, Eduardo, Bendtner, Mannone, Randall, Gibbs, Lansbury, Merida Perez, Eboue.
Newcastle (from): Harper, Given, N’Zogbia, Rozehnal, Taylor, Enrique, Faye, Edgar, Beye, Milner, Geremi, Butt, Smith, Pattison, Viduka, Martins, Ameobi.
We expect Sam to field the following Newcastle side for the game tonight:
Beye Rozehnal Taylor Enrique
Milner Geremi Faye N’Zogbia
Subs: Harper, Edgar, Smith, Pattison, Ameobi
The Newcastle team looks a strong one â€“ particularly in defense – and it will good to see Milner and N’Zogbia starting on the wings in a 4-4-2 formation. We expect Taylor to come in for Claudio Cacapa, who is out injured with a groin strain. We also expect Abdoulaye Faye to be given his first start in central midfield, probably in place of Nicky Butt, who will be given a rest tonight before Saturday’s early KO game(12:45 pm) with Manchester City at Manchester.
Possible variations to the Newcastle line-up could be Smith starting in place of Viduka up front with Oba Martins. Michaal Owen is out again of course with his troublesome groin strain and will not participate again for at least 10 days. We should know within the next day or two whether Michael will require an operation on his hernia. He did have another scan done on it yesterday.
This game is very hard to call and of course a result is needed on the night so extra time of 15 minutes each way and penalties will be used if necessary. The defense looks our key to victory. If we can keep a clean sheet we could get through on the night. We have to go for a 1-0 Newcastle win â€“ but everyone will need to be at their very best tonight for that to be achieved.
What do you think? What team should Newcastle field?
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