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Tuesday 25 September 2012

Capital One Cup: U21 stars set to shine

League Cup resumes this week with 18 Barclays Premier League clubs taking part

  • Sam Allardyce and West Ham United youngster Rob Hall

  • Nico Yennaris could feature for Arsenal in the tie against Coventry City

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

The Barclays Premier League's rising stars will have the chance to stake their claims for first-team squad places when the Capital One Cup resumes this week.

There will be 18 top-flight clubs involved in third-round matches on Tuesday and Wednesday - with five all Premier League-ties taking place – and there should be plenty of opportunities for youngsters involved in the new Barclays U21 Premier League to shine on the big stage.

The Barclays U21 Premier League has been devised as part of the comprehensive review of youth development and is designed to help bridge the gap between Academy and First Team.

"Hopefully if those young players get a chance they will deliver a performance that will excite us all"
Sam Allardyce

It is only in its first season but Barclays Premier League managers are already looking to see if they can bring the youngsters through to the main squad.  

West Ham United take on Wigan Athletic at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday and Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has suggested that players from his U21 team, who recorded a stunning 4-1 win over Arsenal on Friday night, could be involved.

"We can look at the Under-21 squad, which is the new development league this year," Allardyce told the club's official website. "We beat Arsenal 4-1 and I have to look at some of those players, because some of the reports are saying these players are looking very, very good.

"So we'll have an experienced side out with a splattering of young players, and hopefully if those young players get a chance they will deliver a performance that will excite us all.

"The players that get selected who haven't played in the first team quite as much will show what they've got and make a claim for a first-team place as quickly as possible."

Arsenal will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they take on League One side Coventry City on Wednesday.

"It's a good example to follow for all the fans that turn up on Wednesday night"
Arsene Wenger

The tie will be a special occasion for Arsenal's 19-year-old midfielder Nico Yennaris, who was a mascot the last time the Gunners hosted the Sky Blues in 2000.

"Nico has a good chance to be on the pitch on Wednesday; it is a fantastic story," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club's official website. "Dreams come true, sometimes, when you really want it.

"You must really want it and Nico is one of those guys who has that. He is ready to give himself a chance because of his full commitment.

"He is a fantastic player but as well he has excellent attitude. It's a good example to follow for all the fans that turn up on Wednesday night."

Defending champions Liverpool, who defeated Cardiff City on penalties to win the League Cup in February, open their campaign at West Bromwich Albion, who have made an impressive start to the season under new boss Steve Clarke.

New Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is expected to start as Spurs travel to Carlisle United while Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez could play in the all Premier League tie against Aston Villa.

Capital One Cup – third-round fixtures

25th September

Bradford City v Burton Albion
Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Crawley v Swansea City
Leeds United v Everton
Manchester City
v Aston Villa
MK Dons v Sunderland
Preston North End v Middlesbrough
Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday
Swindon Town v Burnley
West Ham United v Wigan Athletic

26th September

Arsenal v Coventry City
Carlisle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
v Newcastle United
Norwich City
v Doncaster Rovers
Queens Park Rangers v Reading
West Bromwich Albion
v Liverpool

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Key Points

  • Premier League teams involved in Capital One Cup third-round action this week
  • U21 Development Squad players could get their chance to shine
  • Former Gunners mascot Nico Yennaris set to play for Arsenal against Coventry