As if the first team wasn’t youthful enough, Gunners manager Arsène Wenger has consistently used the Carling Cup to blood promising youngsters. Expect, then, to get a first home glimpse of Welsh wonderkid Aaron Ramsey and maybe even teenage English winger Jack Wilshere who impressed in pre-season. The thinness of the squad, however, may also mean a start for surprise centre-back signing Mikael Silvestre.
Sheffield United will be a stern test and boast plenty of Premier League experience with one-time England defender Ugo Ehiogu, former England striker James Beattie, as well as midfielder Gary Speed who seems to have been around since decimalisation. Kevin Blackwell’s side will fancy their chances against a club with one eye on forthcoming Champions League encounters.
Arsenal met Sheffield United in last year’s Carling Cup fourth round. Croatian striker Eduardo da Silva scored a brace and Denilson added a third as a young Arsenal side strolled into the last eight. The Gunners were eventually eliminated by Tottenham Hotspur in the last four.
G.Hoyte – Djourou – Song – Gibbs
Wilshere – Ramsey – Randall – Merida
Bendtner – Vela
Match Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Sheffield United
Arsenal v Sheffield United is unfortunately not being broadcast on live TV but it should be avaliable online with p2p streams likely to be posted.
Catch all the post-match reaction and player ratings here on Gooner Talk seconds after the final whistle.
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