Wenger retains youthful approach for Spurs clash

January 23, 2007

Arsene Wenger looks set to again give youth a chance in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against north-London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The Gunners have already beaten Barclays Premiership opposition at Everton and, in the last round, Liverpool with a very young side.

Wenger indicated he was ready to continue his squad rotation policy for the short trip to Spurs.

'We want to repeat our previous performances we have had so far in this competition - if we can win at Everton and win at Liverpool, then we can win at Tottenham as well. Now it is down to the boys to prove that,' he said in his programme notes ahead of the game against Manchester United.

'It will be a very special atmosphere, and we will be ready for it.

'Do not forget we were in the semi-finals last year and we feel our young players have improved since then.'

England forward Theo Walcott is likely to return to the starting XI tomorrow having been rested against United on Sunday.

Brazilian Julio Baptista will be looking to add to his four goals against Liverpool, while French striker Jeremie Aliadiere is another who is in contention.

However, Arsenal's leading marksman Robin van Persie, 23, is set to be sidelined for several weeks after fracturing a metatarsal bone in his foot when scoring the equaliser on Sunday.

Provisional squad: Almunia, Hoyte, Toure, Djourou, Connolly, Traore, Walcott, Diaby, Denilson, Julio Baptista, Aliadiere, Poom, Merida, Lansbury, Randall, Adebayor, Senderos, Flamini.