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Arsenal boss targets balanced team against Chelsea

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Arsene Wenger says he will wait until the last possible minute to decide who he will play against Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Arsenal face Chelsea in the Capital One Cup at the Emirates knowing that he must find the right balance to rest tired stars whilst also fielding a strong enough team to win the game.

Although the Frenchman admitted that his team is likely to be "a mixture" of squad players, youth and established stars, he did say that victory is "absolutely" the target.

He told reporters: "The team will be a mixture, with some players who are at the moment not getting the games they need and deserve, and also one or two young players.

"I have to get that mixture right and I will leave myself until tomorrow to decide how I do that."

One of the players likely to come in in Nicklas Bendtner, who hasn't started for the Gunners following his impressive brace against Italy in the World Cup qualifiers.

It would be Bendtner's second start for Arsenal since 2011 following two seasons out on loan and whilst Wenger admitted he was close to leaving the club in the summer, he also believes Bendtner can still be a valuable member of the squad.

"Nicklas has been away for a lot of time and he was half - when I say half I mean 80 per cent - out of the club," Wenger said.

"In the end, he decided to stay and I stopped him from going.

"I must say, he responded in a positive way and that is what we want from him now.

"I believe he is physically ready, a very good player and if his concentration is 100 per cent to commit himself to the cause he will be a great asset for us. But that is what you want from him in this game."

Wenger believes a win against Chelsea tonight will eradicate doubts over whether Arsenal are genuine title challengers.

Although top of the table, critics have put down claims that the Gunners can maintain their form throughout the season. Wenger wants those critics silenced tonight.

"We haven't won the title for a few years and people question that now," Wenger said.

"At the end of the day, the Premier League will reflect the quality of the performances of the team throughout the season and how well you do in the big games.

"This is a good opportunity for us to show we are ready.

"I'm not sure it will affect the Premier League at all, but you know people will look at you, how you behave and whether you can win the big games like that.

"What is for sure is you that you want to win these sort of games.

"That has a certain psychological influence on the team.

"What we want to do is to show that we want to be considered as a very strong team and that comes only with the way we play and with the results, so let's just focus on that.

"We will absolutely go for this game."

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Topics:
Football
Arsenal
League Cup
Nicklas Bendtner

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