Wenger expresses confidence in young guns

February 23, 2007

Arsene Wenger insists he is not tempted to bring senior players back into the starting XI for the Carling Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday.

The Frenchman is set to rely on the youngsters who have taken Arsenal to the final at the Millennium Stadium, with players such as Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann set to be on the sidelines.

Despite a poor recent record against the Premiership champions - Wenger has not yet got the better of counterpart Jose Mourinho - he wants to show his faith in his young players.

'Not the slightest temptation,' said Wenger on changing his selection policy.

'I have full confidence in these players and I like to do what I say.

'People asked me what would be the team three weeks before but when you play every three days it is very difficult to say that Henry would not play because other players are out.'

He added: 'People say never judge a manager or a team on a cup run because it depends who you play but in this cup competition we have played Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham so it would be a great reward for us to win it.'

Players such as Theo Walcott, Denilson and Jeremie Aliadiere have been given their chance to impress during the cup run, with a core of experienced players like Kolo Toure helping Arsenal's youngsters.

Wenger is expecting a physical battle in Cardiff, with Chelsea possibly playing their strongest side.

He added: 'The game of Chelsea is based on experience and power, ours will be based on mobility and movement.

'It will be very important for us to try to stop them in decisive moments in the game by taking over that physical power.'