Carling Cup Final – the build up to the Big Match
Arsenal’s stars lost 1-0 PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Tuesday and a good performance by the young gunners could be a jolt for the more experienced and established regulars of Arsenal’s top team whose age and recent lackluster performances have seen them being questioned for the first time. Manager Arsene Wenger, ever the shrewd and calculating tactician, could even be using his faith and confidence in the youngsters as a smokescreen to protect his senior players from injuries in a game which is bound to be high on tension and tackles! Arsenal find themselves in the middle of another fixture pile up which sees them playing 2 games a week until the end of the season. The winning and qualification for the Champions League remains top priority above all else for Wenger and he is not scared to display this in his team selections, even in a game which would see a win guaranteeing European football next year, so expect to see Thierry Henry on the bench on Sunday!
Chelsea’s Build Up
Chelsea has been in the news this week after having announced losses of £80 million. On the pitch, they drew 1-1 with FC Porto in the Champions League. Injury news dominates Chelsea’s build up with inspirational captain John Terry out with an ankle injury forcing a defensive reshuffle which will see an untried lineup face Arsenal’s young attack. Welcome news for Chelsea sees keeper Peter Cech in goal and an in-form Andriy Shevchenko, who has finally found his scoring football boots having scored five goals in his last seven matches including the equaliser at Porto. A win for Chelsea will see them lift the trophy for the fourth time and for the second time in three seasons.
In all meetings between the two clubs Arsenal lead with 67 wins to 47 for Chelsea, with 50 drawn matches. Recent results point to a Chelsea win as the Blues are unbeaten in eight against the Gunners, but only after we know the teams would we dare to predict a score!.
Chelsea: Petr Cech; Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Essien, Wayne Bridge (or Ashley Cole); Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, John Obi Mikel (or Arjen Robben); Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko
Arsenal: Manuel Almunia; Justin Hoyte, Kolo Toure, Philippe Senderos, Gael Clichy (or Armand Traore); Gilberto, Denilson, Abou Diaby, Francesc Fabregas; Jeremie Aliadiere, Emmanuel Adebayor (or Julio Baptista)
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