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Rupert Wyman 27th Oct 2009 - 15:57

Lack of depth for 'Pool to be evident at the Emirates

Much has been said about the lack of depth in Liverpool's squad with the recent injury problems to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard and this will be hammered home as the Reds face Arsenal in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.

Both sides are set to rest most of their main players and rely on squad and youth players, as is often the tradition in the Carling Cup.

Arsenal's youngsters usually sparkle in this tournament as they have reached the last eight in each of the last six seasons and they look a cracking bet at 6/5 to beat Liverpool in 90 minutes and extend that record to seven seasons.

If nothing else Arsene Wenger is a man of principle and he believes in the young players he sends out in the competition and knows how crucial it is for their development to play competitive football.

In the last round the Gunners put in an impressive performance as they defeated a near full strength West Brom side 2-0 with a line-up that included eight teenagers. Much of the same can be expected against Liverpool with stars in the making featuring such as Aaron Ramsey, Carlos Vela, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

In addition Wenger will mix them with the experience of Philippe Senderos and Mikael Silvestre as well as possible appearances for the returning injured duo of Samir Nasri and Lukasz Fabianski.

Mexican striker Vela looks the one to be on in the goalscorer markets. He is 6/1 to score first and 7/4 to score anytime. A value bet could be 10/1 for him to score two or more and you can get 40/1 on him repeating his hat-trick heroics that he achieved last season against Sheffield United in the third round.

Liverpool are the 13/8 outsiders in the betting but Rafa Benitez is unlikely to risk any of his better players and as Arsenal's back-up players are superior to Liverpool's the 13/8 does not appeal at all.

The Reds were rather fortunate to sneak past Leeds in the last round and that was despite fielding a side which included Fabio Aurelio, Jamie Carragher, Andrea Dossena, Albert Riera, Javier Mascherano, Ryan Babel and David Ngog.

Riera is injured this time around but all the others could feature, however, despite the millions Benitez has spent on them I would still fancy Wenger's side to get the job done.

Liverpool have an awful record in the Carling Cup against teams from the capital as they have been knocked out by a London club in the past five seasons and Arsenal should be able to make it six in a row.

At the same time Arsenal are bidding to maintain their 100% home record this season as they have simply been awesome this term at the Emirates and even though on Wednesday it will be a second string that lines up they should be able to keep this record intact and bring Rafa Benitez down to earth with a bump following the high of Sunday's victory over Man Utd.

 

 
 
 

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