Two days after making the bench for Arsenal’s disappointing draw at West Ham in the Premiership, Samir Nasri will be included in the Gunners starting lineup for tonight’s Carling Cup tie with Liverpool.
The French midfielder — along with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski — played in a reserve match last week upon recovering from long-term injuries, and both are set to make their initial appearances of the season for Arsenal’s first team in the Cup match at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners will look to return to winning ways after wasting a 2-0 lead at Upton Park on Sunday, when West Ham scored two second-half goals to earn a point. The draw still saw Arsenal move up one place to third in the league table ahead of rivals Tottenham, who will visit Arsenal on Saturday.
But before that Premiership derby arrives, Arsene Wenger’s side aim to advance past another big rival in the Carling Cup, hosting a Liverpool team fresh off a 2-0 home win over Manchester United this past weekend.
While Nasri and Fabianski will be on the pitch against the Merseysiders, Jack Wilshere will be left out, according to Richard Clarke’s report on http://www.arsenal.com. The 17-year-old Englishman has starred in this domestic cup competition the past couple of seasons, but will sit out this encounter due to an ankle problem, according to Wenger.
Clarke added that “Armand Traore (groin) is also missing, but Wenger will be fielding a relatively experienced side. He intends to use the game to give Eduardo (thigh) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) a start. Both came off the bench against West Ham on Sunday but, before that, they had missed a few games with injury.”
“Eduardo and Bendtner will be back. But we still have Rosicky, Denilson and Walcott out,” said Wenger. “Jack (Wilshere) had a knock on his ankle and will be out unfortunately. It is a question of days but we made a trial with him on Sunday and we are resigned to the fact he will be just too short to play.”
While a number of Arsenal’s veteran first-teamers will sit out the Carling Cup match to allow younger players to see action, Philippe Senderos and Mikael Silvestre are included in the team. The two defenders will be joined by teenagers Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs, Fran Merida, Sanchez Watt and Francis Coquelin in a balanced squad, as Wenger looks to give the youngsters experience in a competition that the Gunners have found some success in during recent seasons.