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The Toe Poke

Hughton plans to rest stars

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is set to give his fringe players a chance in Wednesday's Carling Cup clash against Arsenal.

Newcastle saw off Chelsea 4-3 in the third round last month but, ahead of Sunday's derby clash against Sunderland, Hughton has vowed to rest some of his key stars.

"I'll definitely make changes - how many, I don't know," he told the Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette. "It will be an opportunity for a lot of players. We're at home - it's a nice opportunity for us."

The likes of Tamas Kadar, Shane Ferguson and Haris Vuckic are set to start, but Sol Campbell will be denied the chance to face his former club due to a thigh injury. Newcastle are also without Steven Taylor, Steve Harper, Leon Best, Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling.

Arsene Wenger has vowed to select a strong squad as he seeks to end Arsenal's trophy drought.

Wenger broke with tradition as he picked a strong side in the 4-1 win over Tottenham in the last round and, as Arsenal look to secure a place in the quarter-finals, he is set to rely on some of his senior stars once more.

"Some players need games so we will play a strong team," he said at the weekend.

That means Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs could be in line to start, while Laurent Koscielny is also likely to play after recovering from a back problem.

Wenger, though, has said there will still be a number of youngsters in the team.

"We had some impressive performances from our young players at Tottenham," he said. "It is a good opportunity for me to pay tribute to our academy and the quality of its work.

"Matches like this justify what I have said for a long time - that we have a fantastic English generation coming though. You can add Theo Walcott, and the other players who are pushing to play, to those that were involved against Tottenham.

"It is a pleasure to see what is happening at the club and I am very confident that, very soon, we will have six or seven Englishmen playing."

Wenger is expecting Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Henri Lansbury to make a positive impression.

"Jay is knocking very hard on my door - with two hands. He has outstanding quality," he told Arsenal TV Online. "He works very hard to get his fitness right. When his fitness is right, Jay will be not only a good player but a great player.

"One thing is for sure - he can score goals. That is a massive talent you cannot give to people, his right foot, left foot, he is unbelievable in front of goal.

"This guy is an unbelievable finisher, inside and outside of the box. He has outstanding qualities, he has the build you dream to have. It is down to how far he wants to go because he has big potential."

He added: "I like Henri very much, because of his quality, because of his attitude, his desire and determination. He is a Ray Parlour type, a guy who has a good team attitude, goes for the challenges, has an endless engine and has the timing to get into the box and finish, he has shown that at Spurs.

"He is one of the players I want to keep at the club."


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