Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player.

Arsène Wenger and his side host Manchester City at Emirates Stadium in the Carling Cup on Tuesday so, to find out more, we also asked journalist Stuart Brennan for his thoughts and analysis.

Stewart Robson

"It is impossible to know what team Roberto Mancini will pick, but against Wolves in the last round he played a second-string side. All the same, despite containing a couple of youngsters who have now gone out on loan, the City side was full of internationals.

"So whatever teams Mancini and Arsène Wenger select, it should be a game full of technical  brilliance, tactical interest and a fair degree of passion. We might also see the return to the Emirates of Samir Nasri - and that should be intriguing."

Scouting Report - Tactics

"It's normally a 4-2-3-1 formation, but whether they will do that with different players tonight remains to be seen. He'll have to fit the formation around the players. Roberto Mancini has already said he's going to change the whole XI, especially considering they only played two days ago.

"It all depends on the kind of team Arsenal put out. But City will have Adam Johnson down one of the wings and that's certainly an area that they'll be looking at. There's a possibility of Dzeko playing up front as well so they'll be keen to get him on the ball as well.

"They played Birmingham, the holders, in the Third Round and won that comfortably and then went to Wolves, who played a low-strength side. In the end that was a very comfortable win.

"City's strengths have been in the centre of midfield particularly this season. Gareth Barry has looked good this season and obviously Yaya Toure and David Silva have been driving forces there too in that sort of area.

"But none of those players will be playing tonight and of those who are probably coming in, Owen Hargreaves has not played much and Abdul Razak is inexperienced. He's a young lad who's been on loan at Portsmouth. So that kind of area will be nowhere near as strong as usual.

"There's also the likes of Denis Suarez, a Spanish youth international, who could be involved at some point too. I'm not too sure who has travelled down yet in all honesty, we'll find that out later.

"The defence should look fairly healthy and you'd probably expect Aleksander Kolarov at left-back, Pablo Zabaleta right-back with Kolo Toure and Stefan Savic in the middle. They should have enough strength there.

"I think it will go to extra time personally. I think City may just sneak it and if Arsenal do put a Reserve team out then they might struggle against the greater experience."

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    29 Nov 2011