Arsene Wenger has used the League Cup to rotate his first choice stars and give fringe players and youngsters opportunities, and tomorrow night's clash looks to be no different.
While it is a match the Gunner can ill-afford to lose given their desperate need to win to pacify angry supporters at the lack of silverware, Arsene Wenger has a tremendous record in cup competitions against lower league opposition, never losing in fact - So he its fair to say he gets his team selection right.
Fans will have to trust he will do the same tomorrow at Valley Parade; and Arsene Wenger has given away a few pointers as to his selection tomorrow night describing it as a 'strong squad.'
The key points are, Giroud has not travelled, Mannone has, Walcott, Diaby, Santos and Koscielny remain out injured, while Miquel and Yennaris are also.
Don't expect to see a team too dissimilar to the one which took on Olympiakos last week, but our guess is it will be even stronger- certainly the bench, with Arsenal keen to avoid embarrassment, and stay in with a chance of winning silverware - with just Chelsea the only team in the Premier League table above them who remain in the competition.
Here is our expected line-up
Jenkinson Vermaelen Mertesacker Meade
Rosicky Eisfeld Arteta
Subs: Akpom, Coquelin, Podolski, Angha, Cazorla, Wilshere, Mannone
We expect Wenger to go with a blend of experience and youth, Jernade Meade getting a second start in a week at left-back. Tomas Rosicky will likely play an hour, and Arteta should provide experience in the middle in front of a likely raucous home crowd. Thomas Eisfeld is likely to feature, having been ineligible in the Champions League, and after impressing against Reading in the last round.
Arsenal will likely have stronger options on the bench with Cazorla, Wilshere, Podolski ready if needed, but Wenger would surely prefer his team take charge and allow him opportunity to bring on Chuba Akpom and Francis Coquelin with half an hour remaining. Serge Gnabry is another who is in with a shout of a place on the bench, and may get the nod rather than Cazorla if Wenger wants to give the Spaniard a complete rest.
How will you line the team up? Let us know your opinions...
image: © wonker