Arsenal welcome Bolton to the Emirates tomorrow in a Carling Cup fourth round match. Having only two days between matches suggests that there will be many, many changes to the Arsenal side. Bolton will probably come in playing a fairly strong side (the aforementioned Lion of Vienna Suite thinks it might be a 4-5-1 featuring the out-of-fashion Tuncay - check out their preview for more insights), but Arsenal, two days removed from a tough Stoke match, will probably make a large number of changes.
Arsène Wenger is no stranger to making wholesale changes. Normal Carling Cup players were probably always going to feature in this match: Lukasz Fabianski, Yossi Benayoun, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Francis Coquelin, and Emmanuel Frimpong all seem likely candidates. Coquelin could even feature at right back given Arsenal's current lack of depth there. Ignasi Miquel seems like a possibility to start at center half, andThomas Vermaelen is back in training.
And there is always Sebastien Squillaci! Yay!
Reserve/youth player Nicholas Yennaris also shows up in many of the training photos on the official site from today. We know that Vermaelen can play left back, and we know that Djourou can play right back, although he might be worn out from yesterday. Frimpong and Coquelin could play in midfield together, but it seems more likely that Coquelin would slot in at right back, leaving Frimpong to partner with Rosicky and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle. Benayoun will probably get the start on the left of the front three, and tomorrow seems like the time to roll out Park Ju Young and see what we have in him. The really sadistic part of me hopes that Marouane Chamakh starts again, and again, and again, until he shakes loose this malaise/ennui/rust that has him in irons at the moment, but who knows. I'd quite like to see Ryo Miyaichi start on the left with Park in the middle and Benayoun as a veteran presence on the right, and Chamakh can come off the bench for a change of look if need be.
Given all of the ins and outs involved in the selection for tomorrow, this seems as likely as anything:
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coquelin, Squllaci, Miquel, Vermaelen; Frimpong, Rosicky; Ryo, Benayoun, Chamberlain; Park.
There is honestly part of me that would not be sad at all to crash out of the cup tomorrow. It would fuel the CLUB IN CRISIS fires, but our squad depth is...not ideal right now. While I think it's important for players like Benayoun, Park, and Coquelin to get playing time, when we're playing our best defender out of his normal position and slotting in a non-right back at right back, it's maybe one cup too many. I could go either way, though.
What do you all think?