Arsenal v Bolton: Match Preview

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Arsenal v Bolton
Emirates Stadium
Tuesday 25 October 2011, 19:45
Carling Cup

Team News

Per Mertesacker, Alex Song and Robin Van Persie are among the first-team regulars rested for Arsenal ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger is likely to field a mixture of youth and experience, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju Young Park and Emmanuel Frimpong poised for starts.

The Gunners may also recall Thomas Vermaelen to the squad after a two-month absence with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Bolton loanee Dedryck Boyata is ineligible, handing an opportunity to promising youngster Joe Riley who has been included in the squad.

Trotters boss Owen Coyle has also confirmed that Adam Bogdan, Gretar Steinsson, Fabrice Muamba, Mark Davies, Ricardo Gardner, Ivan Klasnic, and Tuncay will all play.

Coquelin highlights Carling Cup ambition

Arsene Wenger has traditionally used the Carling Cup competition as an opportunity to blood the club's rising stars in the first-team, and this season appears to be no different.

As the Gunners prepare to entertain Bolton at the Emirates Stadium tonight, the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emmanuel Frimpong, Ignasi Miquel, and Francis Coquelin can look forward to another run-out in the senior side, with the latter revealing the cup ties can provide the highlight of they year for the fringe players.


"It is such a big competition," the 20-year-old told Arsenal Player. "Arsene Wenger has been playing the young players for quite a long time.

"Maybe last year he played a stronger team but usually he plays young players so obviously all the younger players look forward to this competition for their debuts.

"This year we have started again and hopefully he will do it again."

One player looking to get back into the squad is Belgian central defender Thomas Vermaelen - who hasn't featured for the Gunners since helping them qualify for the UEFA Champions League in Udinese in August.

After undergoing surgery on his left ankle, his rehabilitation has gone extremely well, and Wenger has indicated that Vermaelen is in line to start against Bolton tonight.

"We want to win so there is no perfect game [to bring a player back] but Thomas has worked very hard physically so he should be ready," he confirmed. "I have not decided who will start yet but we will try to find a good mixture.

"Vermaelen might play, Squillaci might play and of course Fabianski too. We will have an experienced team out there but of course some young players."

Bolton Wanderers
League Cup
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