By Graham McNorthbank
Wigan visit Emirates tonight knowing that Arsenal's home stadium as a fortress has been besmirched of late and resembles more of a sand castle. With dodgy foundations.
However, with Arsene Wenger admitting that he is taking this year's Carling Cup competition more seriously than in previous seasons, we should expect a strong starting 11 and a team confident enough to do the business.
It'll be interesting to see who Le Gaffer hands the gloves to this evening, because the natural choice should be Wojciech Szczesny, but with Manuel Almunia apparently fit again, there's definitely a decision to be made and I'm hoping that Wenger holds his nerve to stick with the young Pole in the goal.
That said, the 20-year-old has now signed a contract extension, so if Le Boss does bottle it and Almunia is give a run out, then so be it. If he was to make a mistake it would only reinforce the belief that the uncapped Spaniard has lost it.
Given our performance on the road against Villa at the weekend, I'd be inclined to stick with that eam as much as possible, but I've no doubt there will be some tinkering and squad rotation tonight, so here's my take on who shoud start.
Sebastien Squillaci picked up a knock on his knee on Saturday and has been ruled out, so it looks like it'll be Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny in central defence, which doesn't exactly fill me with hope, while Bacary Sagna should take up his place on the right and Kieran Gibbs will perhaps be given another chance to prove his worth at left back.
At the weekend we started with Jack Wilshere, Alex Song and Samir Nasri in the middle of the park, but it looked as though Nasri had a slight groin problem, so I wouldn't be too shocked to see one or both of Denilson and Craig Eastmond drafted in, perhaps giving Alex Song a bit of a rest too.
And up front we actually now have more options than I can think we've ever had since arriving at Emirates, with Carlos Vela, Marouane Chamakh, Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner all fit.
Whoever doesn't start from that half dozen will have reason to grumble, but I'm hoping Wenger will take the opportunity to allow Chamakh a night off and maybe go for all out attack by starting RvP, Theo and Arshavin up front, athough the latter might also be allowed to stay at home to work on his dresses to allow Bendtner the chance to let his football do the talking.
All in all I'm hoping for a great performance, as this is one of the few times per season that a bunch of us Addicts are able to coordinate our seating arrangements for a home game.
The options are plentiful, so please share your thoughts on the starting Gunners 11 tonight. Here's my Addict XI:
Sagna Djourou Koscielny Gibbs
Walcott RvP Arshavin