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Capital One Cup Match Preview: Tottenham v Arsenal; A Needed Kick Start to the Season?

Tonight’s kicks off yet another run in the annual – let’s run out everyone who isn’t playing Cup otherwise known as the Capital One or League Cup.

Given the last week of frustration, this may be one of the times where we aren’t beholden to a slew of youngsters trying to get us through to the next round. All indications are that Wenger plans to field a strong side, opting to give playing time to first team players who are short of match time and fitness.

That means the likes, of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chambers, Debuchy, Giroud and others will  get run outs. There will be some youngsters called upon as Alex Iwobi’s name seems to be a prospective starter for tonight depending on which outlet you read.

Truth be told, Arsenal need something positive to happen tonight. Not only is it a North London Derby (for which no excuse is necessary to get up for it) but let’s be honest it a hasn’t been the best of weeks for the Gunners.

The poor showing in Zagreb combined with the poor result (thanks Mike Dean) against Chelsea has highlighted the fact that Arsenal are under-performing. On ESPNFC today, Andrew Magnan (@arseblog) highlights that Arsenal need it’s money players to step up and start playing like money players. Now to be fair he also states and correctly I might add that Mesut Özil has been performing – with 23 chances created but only 2 assists.

But it goes beyond just the money players. The regulars have to do their bit too, even when they are only going to be called upon in cup ties. If the likes of the Ox, Debuchy and Giroud want to stake a claim to regular playing time, they need to grasp the opportunity and show it.

Only through their actions on the pitch can they force their way into regular contention.

This is the perfect opportunity to do it. I am sure many out there would’ve preferred we started the League Cup with a run against a lower league opponent. Well, that won’t do – let’s test ourselves. Play against solid opposition and use it as a catapult forward.

Frankly, the season is still young and there are many twists and turns to it. As frustrating as the past week has been, all it takes is a victory – especially one over the lot from the “lily white” side of town (anyone else get a total negative connotation from ‘lily’?) to get us over this moment of doldrums.

Of course it could all still go horribly wrong. A negative result to that lot and well it would get more vociferous than the loss to Chelsea (even though we were robbed.)

It’s time for Arsenal to kick start there season. The hope is that our righteous indignation and the injustice at the hands of Mike Dean, will propel this club into an “Us vs the world” mentality and charge on. Additionally, those who are longing for more time on the pitch need to use this as the leap off point to that. Against the most-heated rivals from cross town, a lackluster performance can’t be had from anyone.

Ospina; Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud

Coquelin (knee), Wilshere (leg), Welbeck (knee), Rosicky (knee)

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant Referees: Lee Betts and David Bryan
Fourth Official:  Andy Woolmer

UK: Sky Sports 1; 19.45 GMT
US: FoxSoccer2Go; 2:45PM EST

Neither team has been winning over the neutrals with any solid displays but I think there is still more in Arsenal than Tottenham

Tottenham 1 – 2 Arsenal


  • There have been 12 meetings between the north London rivals in the League Cup, including four semi-finals.
  • The most recent League Cup meeting was in the third round in 2010/11 at White Hart Lane. Arsenal won the game 4-1 after extra time.
  • Spurs have been eliminated by Premier League opposition in the previous nine years (excluding 2008 when they won the competition).
  • Spurs have won their previous four home League Cup games.
  • Last season’s third-round defeat to Southampton was Arsenal’s earliest League Cup exit since November 2002, when they lost 3-2 to Sunderland at the same stage.
  • The Gunners haven’t been eliminated in an away third-round tie since 1991/92, when Coventry knocked them out at Highfield Road. They have progressed in their 11 away third-round ties since.


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