Arsenal vs Bolton preview: Young Guns time! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 24, 2011 19:30
After positive results against Sunderland, Marseille and Stoke City, Arsenal will tomorrow host Bolton Wanderers in Round 4 Carling Cup action.
I think many will agree with me when I say that we are getting closer and closer to that famous “corner” that we desperately need to turn after a very disappointing season start and in a way, a Carling Cup game is just what we need to experiment a little ahead of a very tough away fixture against Drogba-less Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chu Young Park and Francis Coquelin are all set to feature for the Gunners tomorrow with Sebastien Squillaci to make his comeback from injury and take his place back in central defence, at least that’s my conclusion after checking out photos from today’s training session.
To go back a little to the Stoke game, many are saying that it was a win against a very poor team that should not be overestimated but I respectfully disagree as even though Stoke didn’t look as good as you would expect a 9th-in-the-table Premier League side to be, our football was exquisite at times and a third consecutive win can only inject confidence in our players.
Of course, it would be nice to keep the run going and reach the next round of the Carling Cup as it seems to be the only chance for the likes of Park and Alex to feature although you all know what my opinion is on the latter, he should be given a run with the senior squad to put pressure on a very disappointing Theo Walcott.
Anyway, not much more to add except that the game will apparently not be televised so I very much doubt that I will be in a position to rate the players at the end of the game. In that case, the ratings will of course be back on Sunday.
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
I have no idea who is in the squad and no idea how good the reserves Arsene will pick for the game are so take the above formation with a pinch of salt.
So, I will focus on what I’m sure about. That is, Sebastien Squillaci should feature, if fit, because he is ultimately a centre back who will be used in case of emergency, so we need to assess his fitness level.
Alongside him, I expect Ignasi Miquel to start, I placed Johan just because Miquel is not available on the Interactive side, it will be an important opportunity for the Spaniard to show how good he is in central defence.
Ryo and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have to start, the Japanese because he deserves to play after all the hassle we went through to secure a work permit and Alex for obvious reasons, of course.
And finally, up front, I would start with both Marouane and Park. The Moroccan was disappointing on Sunday and as if this isn’t enough, he was told after the game by the manager that there’s no place for him in the starting line-up as the 4-5-1 formation, simply, cannot change.
So, I’d say give him 90 minutes in the Carling Cup with no Robin on the bench to put him under pressure and let’s see how he performs alongside Park. Incidentally, I am convinced that Marouane can indeed be a big asset if he has another striker alongside him and that’s what I’m hoping to see, tomorrow night.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion. And as a final note, if you want to go one step further than just leaving a comment and want to have your articles published on our website, take a look here for more information.
And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.