Arsène Wenger believes his youngsters will stand up to the pressure of facing Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final - but he admits it is always a risk to throw them in against such a strong Chelsea side.

The Arsenal manager has ruled out the likes of William Gallas, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg and Jens Lehmann from his squad for Sunday's game at the Millennium Stadium. Given that Jose Mourinho will be fielding a full-strength XI, it was put to Wenger at his pre-match press conference that he could be on the end of a heavy defeat.

"That can happen with any team," he replied. "It's always a risk. But you believe in your players or you don't.

"I have 100 per cent belief in this team and I'm confident that on Sunday they will tell me I am right.

"If you want to play for Arsenal and say you cannot play in a Final at 19 or 20 then you have a problem.

"It is of course a bit more difficult because of the mental environment, a little bit more pressure, and when you are young you imagine so much. But it's a Final, a football game where you just have to make a good pass when you have the ball and win it back when you don't."



8/1 - Carling Cup Final: One-nil to the Arsenal


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 23 Feb 2007