Football: Arsene Wenger has attracted criticism down the years for not taking the League Cup seriously, but the Frenchman has said he will take an experienced squad to Bradford for tomorrow night's quarter-final clash.
France international striker Olivier Giroud will miss out with a back injury, while Theo Walcott (calf), Laurent Koscielny (thigh) and Andre Santos (stomach muscle) are also sidelined.
However Wenger is expected to name a strong side that blends youth with experience as his team take on the League Two side at Valley Parade, where they hope to take a step towards ending their seven-year trophy drought.
Arsenal are not in action again in the league until Monday night when they travel to Reading and Wenger said: “We will have an experienced squad at Bradford.
“We have a good recovery time ahead of the game at Reading on Monday. So we can use the players we want to use.”
Bradford have already played a staggering 30 matches this season across four competitions — four more than Arsenal. Nonetheless Bantams boss Phil Parkinson could name an unchanged side tomorrow.
Midfielder Garry Thompson kept his place against Torquay on Saturday having impressed in last Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie and could start.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert returns to Carrow Road for the first time since his acrimonious summer departure in tomorrow’s other quarter-final.
The Scot and Norwich, whom he led to successive promotions, are suing each other for breach of contract.
However Lambert insists that this evening is all about ensuring his team move closer to a final at Wembley.
“It’s never about me,” he said. “It’s about the team that goes there and about the fans that come and watch us.”