Both Arsenal and Manchester City look set to play weakened sides in their Carling Cup quarterfinal clash on Tuesday, but what exactly constitutes a weakened side for Manchester City? The likes of Adam Johnson, Edin Dzeko, Gareth Barry and Gael Clichy are not always first choice for the team that is arguably the deepest in the world from top to bottom.
Arsenal will field a strong team, however, and their youngsters are more than capable of getting a result against a City team that is less than first choice. Arsenal blog The Short Fuse points out some of the kids who could get a chance, and also suggests an unlikely switch to a three-man back line.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Francis Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong and Park Chu-Young all seem certain to start tonight. After those three, the waters get a little murky, especially in the defence, where Arsenal are missing every single full back at the club beside Andre Santos. With players like Yossi Benayoun and Abou Diaby also needing playing time (though I would prefer that they start getting more in the first team; rotation is good!), Arsene Wenger has a selection dilemma. Given the full back crisis and numbers of midfielders that need playing time, along with the success Napoli had last week against City, I would have Arsenal play in a 3-4-3/5-4-1 formation, with a focus on counter attack.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Game Date / Time: Tuesday, November 29, 3:00 pm ET, 8:00 pm local
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV/Online: FOX Soccer Plus (USA), Sky Sports 2 (UK), Sportsnet World (Canada), FOXSoccer.tv (USA - online)
We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Arsenal blog The Short Fuse and Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.