Wenger to play strong side despite rush of fixtures

Arsenal go into tonight's League Cup quarter-final with Wigan Athletic suggesting that they will maintain their renewed commitment to the competition, despite a hectic schedule in recent weeks.

After years of playing younger sides in the League Cup Arsène Wenger has reverted to playing stronger teams this season, and has been rewarded with two notable away wins, at Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United. While acknowledging that some players will have to be rested by virtue of the fact that tonight's match is Arsenal's eighth in November, Wenger has pledged to play as strong a team as possible.

"The only thing I promise is that we will take the tie seriously," Wenger insisted. "But I have to consider how many games my players play. For six weeks we have played every three days with Champions League and internationals. I will consider who needs to play and who needs to rest."

Arsenal have been stretched by the demands of playing in both the League Cup and the Champions League on top of their Premier League commitments so far this season.

Arsenal won 4-1 at White Hart Lane before winning 4-0 at Newcastle United. A number of established names started both games, including Emmanuel Eboué, Laurent Koscielny, Denilson and Tomas Rosicky. Eboué is back in the squad after recovering quicker than expected from a knee injury while Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are both expected to start tonight.

This could well be a function of an increased desire to win a major trophy this season, Arsenal not having won anything since the 2005 FA Cup. They were knocked out at the quarter-final stage in both of the last two seasons, losing 3-0 at Manchester City one year ago, and 2-0 at Burnley in 2008 with Kevin McDonald scoring both goals.

Tonight's opponents, Wigan Athletic, knocked Arsenal out at the semi-final stage in 2006. After a 1-0 defeat at what was then called the JJB Stadium in the first leg, Arsenal levelled through Thierry Henry in normal time and went ahead through Van Persie in extra time. But Jason Roberts' 119th-minute winner sent Wigan to their first major final.

Wigan welcome back Paraguay international Antolin Alcaraz after a suspension although top scorer Hugo Rodallega is still banned. Club captain Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce are injury doubts while James McCarthy has been ruled out.

Arsenal (probable, 4-3-3): Almunia; Eboué, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs; Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky; Walcott, Van Persie, Bendtner.

Wigan Athletic (4-5-1): Al Habsi; Stam, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Gomez, Diame, Thomas, Cleverley, N'Zogbia; Boselli.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there