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By ESPN Staff

Gallas pleads for starting berth

Arsenal defender William Gallas believes he should play in Sunday's Carling Cup final.

The 29-year-old Frenchman is set to be left out against his former club as manager Arsene Wenger sticks with the youngsters who won their way through to the Millennium Stadium showpiece.

But after recent injury problems, Gallas insists he should feature from the start.

'I want to be in the starting 11,' he told The Sun. 'Not because we are playing Chelsea but because I'm suffering from a lack of playing time after three months out.

'It strikes me as natural I should play in this game, so I can return to peak form. But the decision is down to the manager.

'I see it as a chance to get back the rhythm I lack.'

Gallas does, however, admit that the experience of playing in such a big game can only benefit the young Gunners who look set to play a major role in the club's future.

He added: 'I think it is a good idea of the manager to give the youngsters their chance. It is a good thing for them to get to play in a final.

'It will allow them to learn about the pressure of such big events.'