Unai Emery has confirmed he’ll mix experience with youth when he picks an 18-man squad to face Blackpool in the Carabao Cup.
The Spaniard has already revealed that Petr Cech, who has recovered from a hamstring problem, will get a chance to play in goal and it’s expected that a number of Freddie Ljungberg’s under-23s will also get the nod.
The likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock all missed last night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Cheltenham Town so they could prepare for Wednesday’s match at the Emirates.
Ahead of the game, Emery passed on some advice to the hopeful Academy graduates.
“The most important thing for the young players is to be alert every day in the training sessions,” he told Arsenal.com.
“They need to use the experienced players’ example, how they progress, and learn from them.
“For us, it’s about sticking with them and giving them responsibility in each training session, the confidence from working for us. Then, when they deserve it, it’s up to us to give them chances in the matches.
“Progressively, they can take confidence from being able to find their performance with their quality and with confidence.”
He added: “Each training session for them is very important and also when the matches come around, we can give them chances to take responsibility.
“I think this season we will need every player, including the young players.”
Yesterday, the medical team hinted that injuries will rule out Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny, Dinos Mavropanos and Mohamed Elneny.
The fitness problems, particularly in defence, are no excuse for Emery who insists his side are focused on seeing off the challenge of the League One side.
“For us, each match is our focus,” he said. “We’re looking for a good performance from the team, and also to give the players the chances to help us with their performances.
“We respect Blackpool, and we will take the responsibility to have the best performance in each competition so that we’re able to win the match.
“We will choose 18 players for the Blackpool match, the young players also. We are going to have a mix in order to get the best performance against Blackpool, to respect them. For us, the Carabao Cup is very important.
“It’s an opportunity to win a trophy and for tomorrow, a chance to play in front of our supporters at Emirates Stadium in this competition.”