by Tony Attwood
Shock horror, for if it is Arsenal it is a problem. And the problem is Arsenal have to travel to Qarabag in Azerbaijan and FC Vorskla in Ukraine. (And of course to Lisbon to see Sporting but even the most rabid anti-Arsenal journalist is struggling to find that journey a problem).
But for the other two the story can be put across as an issue of disruptive travel just two days before important league games if
a) The same players who go to Azerbaijan and the Ukraine for the Thursday game are also going to play on Sunday
b) The team is travelling economy class where the seats eternally get smaller and the passenger sitting next to you gets bigger each trip.
Neither is actually true, not least because the idea of a squad is that all the players stay fit and ready to play, which means they need games, and so these games will be ideal for them. And then those players probably won’t be playing on Sunday.
Anyway… the opposition:
Last season Sporting came third in the Portuguese league
They have started their season with these results
- Moreirense 1 Sporting CP 3
- Sporting CP 2 Vitoria de Setubal 1
- Benfica 1 Sporting CP 1
Last season Qarabag ended up thus:
Qarabag in Azabajan have started their season and have got a win and a draw thus far
FC Vorskla of the Ukraine ended up like this in what is known as the “Championship round” of their national league…
|1||Shakhtar Donetsk (C)||32||24||3||5||71||24||+47||75|
As can be seen it is pretty much a two club league and Vorskla were not part of it.
It is difficult to imagine what could have been a particularly tricky draw for us, but the draw we have got should ensure that some of the games, if not all of them, give Arsenal the chance to keep exploring the talents of the youngsters and reserves in the squad.
And speaking of which, in the League Cup Arsenal play Brentford on 25 September with the usual 7.45pm kick off.
As for Tottenham they have now applied to play their League Cup tie with Watford in Milton Keynes. New WHL is seemingly not yet safe, and there is a boxing match at Wembley. Tottenham could have applied for the game to be played at Watford’s ground, which would have got more of a crowd, but they refused to do this.
Their reasoning was that they would only get 10% of the tickets at Watford’s ground, but will have 90% at MK Dons ground. There is of course nothing wrong with MK Dons ground, although I have found parking a bit hit and miss, but it will be interesting to see what crowd they get if the game is moved north. (It’s junction 14 on the M1 if anyone is interested).
Here’s the full league cup draw
- West Brom v Crystal Palace
- Arsenal v Brentford
- Burton Albion v Burnley
- Wycombe v Norwich
- Oxford United v Man City
- West Ham v Macclesfield
- Millwall v Fulham
- Liverpool v Chelsea
- Bournemouth v Blackburn
- Preston v Middlesbrough
- Wolves v Leicester
- Tottenham v Watford
- Blackpool v QPR
- Everton v Southampton
- Man Utd v Derby
- Nottingham Forest v Stoke
More anon. The final set of the upgrading of the site is happening soon. If we do lose contact I’ll get things back and restored as fast as possible.
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