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Play Fantasy Arsene Wenger: Who would you pick to play Tottenham?

With the third clash of the season against Tottenham Hotspur just a day away, Arsenal's growing first team squad will all be trying their best to be selected for the side that lines up at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.

In keeping with his Carling Cup strategy, Arsene Wenger will be looking to his young Gunners to step up to the mark against the Spuds, but given the fierce rivalry between the North London rivals, don't be too surprised to see a couple of more established players in the starting 11.

Lukasz Fabianski will be in goal for his first North London derby, while our back four will have to cope without Kolo Toure for the game, while Alexandre Song is similarly absent on duty at the African Nations Cup, so I'd expect John Djourou to return to the Arsenal set up, following his return on loan from Birminham.

As for the other members of the back line, I'd plump for Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos and Armand Traore, although the latter player will have to put in a better performance than he did on Sunday against Burnley...

In midfield, Alex Hleb is struggling with an ankle injury, while Emmanuel Eboue joins Toure and Song on a plane to Ghana. It'll be interesting to see whether Lassana Diarra gets a starting place. If not, the rumours of his imminent departure will no doubt gather speed. However, I for one hope he gets a run out, as I could see Diarra becoming an important player for the Gunners in the years ahead.

Elsewhere in midfield Wenger could choose between Tomas Rosicky, Denilson, Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto, Kieran Gibbs, Mark Randall, Henri Lansbury, Fran Merida and Cesc Fabregas.

Last round, against Blackburn, Le Gaffer selected Diarra, Denilson, Abou Diaby and Mark Randall. This time round I think he'll plump for a similar set up, but perhaps with Mathieu Flamini rested last weekend, he could return to the starting 11.

Up front, Robin van Persie is set for his comeback, while Theo Walcott is also available. Emmanuel Adebayor is apparently struggling with a hamstring injury, but Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo are both in scoring mood, so my bet would be on an RvP and Eduardo pairing, with either Walcott or Bendtner making an appearance for the Dutchman after an hour or so.

Speaking this afternoon, Wenger confirmed, "Robin van Persie is back in the squad. He had a little set-back coming back from his knee injury, it was a muscle problem. But the positive side of it is that he could forget about his knee and work on his fitness.

“Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos will play at the back. Apart from that it will be the players who played in the last [Carling Cup] game. Basically it will be a young side maybe with one or two experienced players.”

Be sure to share your thoughts on team selection, but for the record, this would be my starting line-up:

Hoyte Djourou Senderos Traore
Randall Diarra Flamini Diaby
Van Persie Eduardo

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 8, 2008 3:05 PM in Debate of the Day| News| Players
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Hoyte Djourou Senderos Traore
Randall Diarra Flamini Diaby
Bendtner RVP

Subs: Lehmann, Gallas, Cesc, Lansbury, Eduardo

Posted by: Alessandro | January 8, 2008 6:06 PM

my guess is he wouldnt play diarra next to flamini, so i think flamini gets the game off,

so i personally hope to see
Hoyte Djourou Senderos Traore
Randall Diarra Merida Diaby
Van Persie Eduardo

were yet to see the full potential of merida but i think given a start he would excell, especially beside the immense diarra

Posted by: Anthony | January 9, 2008 12:19 AM

hoyte djourou traore
randall diaby flamini gibbs(he has impressed me a lot)
walcott bentdner van persie

Posted by: | January 9, 2008 2:57 AM

Sagna Djorou Senderos Traore
Walcott Denilson Gilberto Diaby
Van Persie Bendtner

Posted by: mendi | January 9, 2008 11:37 AM

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