I’m in a rare situation of being able to direct you downward to most of the form related stuff. We haven’t drawn Liverpool in the Carling Cup in the Wenger years, but we did beat them in the final in 87, and they beat us in 95 on the way to winning the trophy.
Saturday’s performance will no doubt give the team confidence in our potential to perform away from home in difficult games, although the line up will be a bit similar to the team that made baby Jesus cry at Bramall Lane. Swansea just beat them 3-0 at the same ground for christ’s sake. Liverpool may be a bit shaken up from going so long without conceding at home and then getting twanked three one. They will no doubt break out a weakened line up as well, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how the flow of the game will go. The reward if we win is the possibility of knocking Spurs out of their one chance of silverware with our kids. How sweet that would be.
Adebayor and Diaby should be back. which is great news, Fabregas is available again but I doubt he’ll play. Gallas is a possibility to be in the squad, but he may also not play till Saturday. Ljungberg is the same. I don’t know how bad, or existent, Eboue’s knock was. He’ll be back for Blackburn I’d expect.
Van Persie coming off with 20 minutes to go on Saturday could possibly suggest he’ll be involved somehow, or Wenger might have just been giving him a rest.
Almunia, Djourou, Senderos, Denilson, Walcott, Flamini, Song and Aliadiere have all started in both games in the Carling Cup thus far. Traore started in the last round against Everton so I see no reason why Clichy won’t get a rare rest. And I’d almost certainly expect Lehmann, Toure, Fabregas, Gilberto and Henry to get a rest.
We don’t really have the personnel to play 4-5-1 with none of the strikers who are likely to play suited to playing upfront on their own
Not really sure what sort of side Benitez will put out. I’m assuming it will be 4-4-2 again. Bellamy is likely to start, Sissoko, Zenden and Kewell are still out. In the previous two rounds of this competition, they played with Sissoko and Zenden. Unless Gerrard and Alonso start, their midfield will be weak, as the only other central midfielders in their squad are Danny Guthrie and Lee Peltier, aged 19 and 20 respectively. And Peltier has been employed at right back in the last two rounds in the absence of a senior right footed reserve full back.
Let’s make it three out of three for the season, shall we?