By Nick Teale

Once again this season, Arsène Wenger has been true to his Carling Cup policy of giving the Gunners' youngsters an opportunity on the big stage.
 
So far this campaign they've seen off West Brom and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium and now travel to Eastlands to take on a Manchester City side who are doing everything they can to win the Carling Cup.
 
As the Manchester Evening News reporter Stuart Brennan explain, Mark Hughes' side are intent on lifting the trophy.

FOCUS - CUP FEVER

CARLING CUP FEVER
"I think they will put out a full-strength team against Arsenal. They're taking the Carling Cup extremely seriously, they see it as a stepping stone to bigger things and right from the start of their campaign which was away at Crystal Palace, they shocked everybody by playing a full team even though they had an important Premier League game at Portsmouth just three days later."

FOCUS - THE STORY SO FAR

THE STORY SO FAR
"They had Crystal Palace in the Second Round. Given City's recent history in cup competitions that seemed like the sort of tie they might have lost; they went out to Brighton last season. But they went to Selhurst Park and performed very solidly and knocked Palace out. Then they had Fulham at home, who put out pretty much a second-string team but still a reasonably strong side. That went to extra-time and Kolo Toure won it with a header form a corner. Then they had Scunthorpe at home and breezed that one 5-1 and that's where we are now."

FOCUS - CAUSE FOR CONCERN

CAUSE FOR CONCERN
"I think there are a number of factors as to why City have drawn their last seven league games. Seven draws looks poor but if you take them as individual games, a draw at Anfield is a good result, a draw at Villa Park is a good result and a draw at Wigan when you're down to 10 men is a good result; Chelsea didn't manage that. You could even argue that a draw at Birmingham City was a good result as they'd just had a takeover that week and the place was buzzing. It's the home draws that have really upset people I think. Fulham, Hull and Burnley are the kind of teams they need to beat at home if they have real ambitions to go somewhere in the Premier League."

FOCUS - THE MAN IN CHARGE

THE MAN IN CHARGE
"I don't think there is any pressure [on Mark Hughes]. The owners are probably the calmest people in the entire situation. It helps that they aren't on the doorstep; they have not got fans hammering on their door. They can sit in the calm and the serenity of Abu Dhabi and just survey it from a distance. They're not the type of owners to make knee-jerk decisions, they realise that they're building a football team from a position of mediocrity, which is where City were before the takeover."

FOCUS - TALKING TACTICS

TALKING TACTICS
"Equal emphasis is being put on the Carling Cup as the Premier League. I think they want to get into a cup final as much as they want to get into the top six, simply because it's seen as a stepping stone. Manchester United had won the FA Cup and the League Cup before they won the Premier League and Chelsea did the same. Liverpool always used to sharpen their teeth on the League Cup too. City see it the same way; if you get into the habit of winning one trophy you can go on and win more and that's what they're looking at doing with the Carling Cup."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Dec 2009