Carling Cup preview: Arsenal v Manchester City

With Roberto Mancini vowing to make eleven changes from the team which played Liverpool, there could be an opportunity for a couple of the younger players. It won’t be easy as Arsene Wenger has indicated he will play some first teamers in an attempt to win this Carling Cup quarter-final.

Juan Roman tweeted that he has travelled down with the squad, while Razak and Suarez will also be looking to feature. The sight of Owen Hargreaves will be a welcome one and if de Jong plays then there may not be room for Razak in the starting eleven.

Rotating the defence is straightforward enough with Zabaleta, Kolo, Savic and Kolarov all likely to come in. Against Birmingham, the manager also played Onuoha and Bridge. A repeat will give the side a very solid look – not unusual for Mancini in away games at the Emirates.

However City have been more attacking this season and with the tie being decided on the night, Mancini may be more adventurous. The risk is that in rotating the attacking players, the inexperienced Suarez and Roman may need to start alongside Adam Johnson and Dzeko.

Samir Nasri is believed to be on the bench and Mancini may turn to one or two senior players later in the game. Nasri in particular could do with a good performance to work out some of his recent frustrations.

With so many changes to both sides, it’s hard to predict a winner. This could be a difficult night if Wenger picks a strong line-up. Hopefully it will go the way of the last round against Wolves with the likes of Adam Johnson cutting loose to see us through.

Blue Days line-up:
Zabaleta – Savic – K Toure – Kolarov
Hargreaves – de Jong
A Johnson – Suarez – Bridge

Prediction: 3-1 to City.

Player ratings: Liverpool v Manchester City
Carling Cup player ratings: Arsenal v Manchester City

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