Arsenal FC: Rotating the Squad Will Be Important Against Coventry City
Fatigue has started to set in for some players and it has been noticeable with someone like Abou Diaby. Since arriving at Arsenal, the French international has struggled with injuries, so a Capital One Cup match will give him some much needed rest.
Apart from giving players some rest ahead of a big weekend clash with Chelsea, Arsene Wenger will also have the opportunity to see some players he hasn't given much playing time this season.
Starting from the back, if Wojciech Szczesny is fully healthy, he should be given the nod to start in goal for the Gunners. Having been unable to start consistently in the new campaign, the Polish keeper could really benefit from a match against Coventry where he shouldn't be tested all that much.
As for the Arsenal back line, I have never really been a fan of completely changing the full squad for games like these. One of the reasons is that you are putting players together who haven't played a competitive match in some time. The team will almost certainly come out flat and they could very well struggle to find a rhythm.
If captain Thomas Vermaelen is back from his illness, I would consider starting him or even Laurent Koscielny, who only played his first match this past weekend against Manchester City. Playing one of the starting center backs alongside someone like Johan Djourou will give that added confidence and experience needed to avoid an upset.
Brazilian defender Andre Santos should get the start over Kieran Gibbs, who will welcome the rest after a good performance against City.
In the midfield, Wenger will certainly make a number of changes considering the options he has. Considering their limited minutes this season, Theo Walcott and Oxlad-Chamberlaine should get the start.
Will Arsenal make a deep run in the Capital One Cup?
Another starter should be Russian international Andriy Arshavin, who declined an offer to move away from the club in the summer. Despite his occasional lazy characteristics, if given time, confidence and a chance to play in the middle of the park, Arshavin could be a key contributor for Arsenal coming off the bench.
Offensively, one would imagine that Marouane Chamakh will get his chance, but I also think Olivier Giroud should get some time as well. The French international has yet to score a goal for his new club and although against a lower tier team, a goal at the Emirates before a match against Chelsea could really work wonders.
Chamakh is another player who I believe if given time and confidence, could be a very good option off the bench. In his first season, he showed that he could score goals as well as hold the ball up, but the good form of Robin van Persie forced the Moroccan to see limited minutes.
Arsene Wenger's side is very capable of being complacent in matches like these as they have proven in the past. Fielding a team that shows respect for the opposition will give Arsenal the needed confidence to avoid an upset at the Emirates.
A complete change of the squad could still get the Gunners a victory, but I believe that too many changes in the starting eleven could lead to Arsenal taking a long time to get into the match.
Who do you think should start and who will be a key player for Arsenal?
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