Weblog: The football punter
Swans look ace against whoever Wenger picks
I always used to think placing too much emphasis on team news when it came to Arsenal in the cup was the quickest route to the poorhouse.
Arsene Wenger loved to blood his youngsters in domestic knockout battles, but that didn't stop the Gunners making the latter stages of nearly every competition they entered - although never quite winning them of course.
Wenger could be certain that whenever he rested his star players the next batch of Emirates - or shouldn't that be Etihad? - superstars were coming fresh off the production line.
The same principle applies now but for altogether different reasons - it doesn't matter one bit who Wenger picks because the first team is just as bad as the youth team.
For that reason I'll be all over Swansea when they welcome Wenger's men, kids or whoever to the Liberty Stadium.
I actually think the Frenchman will do his best to name a strong side, but Swansea have already proved too good for them in the league and there wasn't much to frighten them when Arsenal were outplayed by Southampton on New Year's Day.
Having said that, I'll be delighted if Gervinho gets the nod. Not only because it means my bet may as well have copped already but it's another chance to stick two fingers up to all those who said I must be the worst footballer in the country upon seeing another of my rasping left-footers fly over the fence on to the adjacent astroturf the other week. Have they never seen the Ivorian?
It doesn't matter who Liverpool pick either at Mansfield - there's no way I'd be tempted to back the Stags, even at 14-1. Liverpool's kids have done a decent job this season and are getting better and better under Brendan Rodgers after a slow start.
It makes you wonder why Kenny Dalglish wasted all that money on Carroll, Downing and Henderson. Still, makes more sense than £11m for Gervinho.