On Wednesday two former titans of the beautiful game go head to head at the Emirates in the League Cup (formerly Milk, Rumbelows, CocaCola and currently Carabao Cup). Like two former heavyweight champions stepping out of retirement with unfinished business and wounds never fully healed.

For a period in the early 90’s these two giants of the game slugged it out over the league title and the FA Cup. In the 91/92 season Doncaster completed the league and FA Cup double to cap a decade long period of dominance. In the 92/93 season Arsenal became the league champions for the first time and met Doncaster in the FA Cup Final. The Gunners ran out comfortable winners 3-0 to secure the double. The following season saw Doncaster regain the league title from Arsenal in a closely fought campaign. They then went on to complete the double that season.

Doncaster would not win the league or the cup again. One of the all-time great sides had peaked and as money poured into the game, they found it increasingly harder to compete. Arsenal on the other hand would go on the dominate the English game, winning a record 12 league titles and 14 FA Cups.

The Doncaster Belles and The Arsenal Ladies are without doubt the two most successful sides ever to grace women’s football in England. On Wednesday, their less successful male counterparts will pick up the old rivalry and duke it out in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Wenger v Fergie

To add further spice to the match, Arsene Wenger will be pitting his wits against a Ferguson team. Darren, son of Alex, is the manager of Doncaster Rovers and has led the side since 2015.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Ferguson admitted he has spoken to his father at length about the game and that the old man will be there to support the side.

Both Fergusons will be hoping that Arsenal take this game a little too lightly to give them a chance of causing an upset.

The Opposition Breakdown

Apparently, there’s a men’s team!

Doncaster Rovers currently sit in 19th place out of 24 in League One. Their league form reads Played 8 Won 1 Drawn 3 Lost 4. In the previous league campaign Doncaster were in League Two and secured automatic promotion by finishing in 3rd place. In the 2015/16 league campaign the club were relegated from League One. A “yoyo club” is not an unfair description.

Doncaster normally use a 4-3-3 formation and play an attractive brand of football. Up front their number 9 John Marquis is dangerous and well supported from midfield with players such as Tommy Rowe who can shoot from distance. So far this season they have lacked the fluency of last but they have remained an organised side and their loses have been narrow.

Arsene’s Approach

Wenger will rotate heavily for this game but he will not take it lightly. Despite this competition being firmly in fourth place on the list of priorities the boss will want to go further. The Carabao Cup represents the best opportunity to give game time to the youngsters and fringe first team players with less at stake.

I expect to see a blend of senior squad players eager for starts, players working their way back to full match fitness and plenty of youngsters involved.

After a good cameo against Cologne last week it could be time to give Jack a start. Playing next to the reliable Elneny should form a good platform for Arsenal to dictate the game. At the back and up front there is plenty of choice for the boss to put out a strong and balanced team.

Men Against Boys

The match will be a great opportunity for some of the youngsters to make their case for more first team involvement. Here is a look at some of the brightest young sparks at the club.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Maitland-Niles already has first team starts under his belt from last season in the League Cup and FA Cup. He has played wide right midfield, right wing-back and even centre-back in pre-season. Central midfield appears to be is his best position and he performed very well in there away to Southampton in the FA Cup. Ainsley has a good range of passing, a good touch and recycles the ball quickly. He has good strength and very good recovery speed. The 19-year-old is a natural athlete with a good all-round game. Ainsley also has a mum not to be messed with, who allegedly twated Dick Law in a meeting at London Colney.

Joe Willock

Joe is the younger brother of the highly regarded winger Chris Willock who left the club for Benfica this summer. The 18-year-old Joe is a central midfielder, possesses a good passing range, is a mobile and powerful runner with tricks in his locker to beat his man. He has equipped himself well in preseason games and didn’t look out of place in the first team.

Reiss Nelson

All Gooners will be well aware of Reiss Nelson after his pre-season exploits. London born Nelson is a fearless right sided attacker well suited to wing-back or further forward. Reiss looks very comfortable in the first team already and Mesut Ozil was reportedly shocked to find out his teammate was only 17 years old. Inventive, tactically astute, has the tricks to commit and beat his man, and a very good finisher.

Eddie Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah looks like the most natural finisher to come through the youth ranks at Arsenal in a very long time. The 18-year-old is quick, has intelligent movement, is able to score from all angles and from distance. If there is one weakness (and I mean only one) it’s heading but every time he has stepped up an age group whether at Arsenal or for England the goals keep coming. One word, lethal.

Krystian Beilik

With Gabriel Paulista gone and doubts about Calum Chambers a path to the first team has opened up a little. The 19-year-old, Krystian Beilik, should be an obvious beneficiary. He arrived from Leigia Warsaw for £2.4m in 2015 having just turned 17 as a midfielder but was soon redeployed as a ball playing centre back where he has flourished. He impressed on loan at Birmingham City last season and at 6ft 2in he has the stature and physical presence to dominate. He looks ready, is strong, mobile, calm, reads the game well and has good technique.

Tafari Moore

The 20-year-old is a natural right-back but equally comfortable on the left. Very comfortable in possession, with good awareness and build-up play. Tafari has a sharp turn of pace to hurt teams, and the recovery speed to get back and defend. Blessed with the natural athleticism to get up and down the flank Tafari all the attributes to be a success at wing-back.

The Team

The starting eleven could be: Ospina; Holding, Mertesacker, Chambers; Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Elneny, Moore; Nelson, Iwobi; Giroud

My Prediction

A comfortable home win: 3-1