Wenger puts faith in second string for Cup
Arsene Wenger has confirmed it will be a much-changed Arsenal side which takes on Blackburn in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup at Ewood Park on Tuesday, but one fully capable of progressing to the last four.
The Gunners' fixture list is looking decidedly congested - and after their 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium yesterday, Wenger has confirmed his usual Carling Cup policy of relying on his talented young fringe players will again be in operation.
Wenger told the club's official website: 'The Carling Cup is more of a squad game, because we decided as a squad to go for every single trophy. Many players that didn't play against Chelsea will play at Blackburn on Tuesday night.
'My expectation is to qualify and go into the semi-finals, because we want to come back as well as we did last year and as well it is a good opportunity for my squad to show how strong the players who didn't play against Chelsea are.
'I believe in them, and it is good (for the fringe players) to show me `we knock at the door and we want to play in the first team'.
'We use the competition for our players to grow up - but not only to grow up. It is also to show they are good enough to play in the Champions League and the Premier League.
'I believe as well what is fantastic is to see these players respond under the pressure of Premier League teams, and you can detect who is ready and who is not ready.'
Midfielder Emmanuel Eboue (knee) looks set to be sidelined for a couple of weeks after his injury against Chelsea, but forward Theo Walcott (knee) could be back in contention at Ewood Park after missing the Chelsea game.
Young Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner is likely to lead the attack, with Eduardo - who scored twice in the last round - and Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski also set to feature.
Wenger added: 'Lukasz is a very impressive goalkeeper with tremendous qualities. I like his intelligence, his physical attributes and his agility - he is a very impressive goalkeeper.
'For me, he does already [challenge for a first-team place] because the other goalkeepers practise with him - and they see how good he is.'