Arsène Wenger may have altered a number of his long standing philosophies in recent years, but the Frenchman will once again return to his youth orientated Carling Cup roots, by handing Nico Yennaris an Arsenal début against Bolton Wanderers this evening.
The fourth round clash comes at a time when Wenger’s new-look side have found some form, with six wins from the last seven games, including a 3-1 win over Shrewsbury Town, which set up tonight’s fourth round clash. A similar result would see the Gunners into the last eight for the ninth consecutive year.
As such, Wenger has included a few experience faces. Łukasz Fabiański, Sébastien Squillaci, Yossi Benayoun and Park Chu-Young are all in need of minutes, and are all set to start. As is vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen, who only re-joined full training on Friday.
That experience helps, but youngsters fill the key gaps. The versatile Yennaris, a rugged, aggressive and tenacious holding midfielder, will act as a make-shift right back, having been used there on a handful of occasions for the Reserves, while Ignasi Miquel is poised to occupy the other full back berth.
Third round stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin should return to boss the midfield, against a Bolton side who maybe be down on confidence, but not threat.
The bench is again made up of Reserves. The fit again Vito Mannone and the newly re-signed Sanchez Watt will be joined by Daniel Boateng and Shrewsbury débutants Oğuzhan Özyakup and Chuks Aneke. Jernade Meade and Ryo Miyaichi are also poised to be involved.
All in all, its a solid Arsenal squad, for a game that always boasts a party atmosphere.