Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Wednesday December 2 2009
The City of Manchester Stadium
Tuesday 2nd December 2009
The stage is set at a sold out Eastlands for what promises to be an exciting League Cup Quarter Final clash between two sides with a bit of recent history
'There's a little bit of hysteria, and not for the first time. It's not something I lose sleep over. We are still very much where we thought we would be at this stage. We've only been beaten once but there's a feeling that we should have more points on the board. We can't dwell on that, we have to look forward. We're being judged on the money we've spent. But as a group we will get stronger as the season progresses. The quality and the strength in depth will allow us to do that. We're at home in front of our fans - it's a great opportunity for us and we have to take it. We've worked hard to get into this position, now it's important we get into the semi-final.'
'The game will be huge for the club and especially for the supporters. It is vital to get through this tie tonight. We know how much the fans want us to progress and how much they crave success and that is what we want too. Our fans have been on one of football's biggest roller coaster rides for years and years and they deserve to see the team win something. I feel as though we are favourites. Arsenal have come to our place the last two years and left with nothing and we hope it is the same tonight. Whatever they say and however confident they sound they will be just as worried about us as we are about them.'
'Let's keep the faith in our young players who keep waiting for this game and I want give them a chance to play. I believe any result should not influence too much your policy. We know what we want to do in the Carling Cup, but we also want to win it. It is a cup game, and I believe in a cup game anything is possible.'
VMC City Video Link: Hughes pre match
presser for Arsenal
The roundly boo-ed off against Hull Blues remain in good nick treatment table wise and yet again Mark Hughes will have an almost full deck of players to select from. Outside of Gareth Barry's groin trouble, City will be at full strength having afforded the competition maximum respect this season.
Who else? The Togonator started his City career in sizzling form but following his suspension after FourTwogate, has looked almost completely out of sorts. Expect his every move to come under massive scrutiny tonight.
L'Arsenal will almost certainly send out the kids at Eastlands but have shipped a number of injuries of late which might force the wily Wenger's hand. Kyle Bartley and Craig Eastmond have been called into teh squad and ex rag Mikael Silvestre is likley to feature.
Arsenal's teenage sensation will have to be well shackled if City are to prevail tonight. A measure of the lad's increasing high profile was how he defeated Scotland almost single handedly for Wales last month.
The clubs have met 5 times in the League Cup and The Gooners have won the lot.
City have beaten only once in 16 competitive fixtures this campaign.
3 of Arsenal's 4 defeats this season have come away from home.
Arsenal have not won a League Cup game on the road for 2 years.
If City win, they will be have secured their 6th ever League Cup semi-final appearance. If Arsenal win, they will have sealed a record breaking 14th.
VMC Forum Link: Manchester City v Arsenal - Carling Cup Match Day Thread - Wed Dec 2 - KO 19:45 UK time
MCFC are giving away 10,000 flags to the thousands of kids who are getting in tonight for a quid.
C J Foy (Merseyside) Mr. Foy is something of a steady eddie yellow cards-wise and is fresh from refereeing the mayhem that was the 8 goal thriller between West Ham and Burnley. He oversaw City's last league win which came against The Hammers. This season's current record: Games: 14, Yellow Cards: 44, Red Cards: 3.
I'm predicting a no holds barred berserker. City have taken some tremendous stick this past week and Sparky has to get the side responding to that and shifting through the gears. It's a massively important week in the context of our season and a full house at Eastlands will demand to see some inspiration against a young Arsenal side who must never be underestimated. Johnny On The Spot: City 3 Arsenal 2
H: Chelsea, Sat 05 Dec 17h30 GMT
A: Bolton, Sat 12 Dec 15h00 GMT
Date:Wednesday December 2 2009
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