Arsene Wenger
Wenger is starting to consider his January moves. REUTERS

Thomas Vermaelen returns to the Arsenal squad for Tuesday's Carling Cup match against struggling Bolton, as Arsene Wenger's side look to reach the last eight of the competition for the ninth consecutive year.

Vermaelen's return after a two-month injury lay-off is a timely boost for Wenger, who confessed last season's cup final defeat to Birmingham is a constant source of anguish.

"It will hurt me forever because we never forget disappointments," he said.

"That's part of life at a managerial level; you do not only have successes but disappointments too. People forget that we did fight very hard to get there and overall we produced great performances in the Carling Cup last year. That's very important as well.

"There is hunger in this team no matter what competition. We want to do well in the Carling Cup, the championship, the Champions League, in every single competition."

The Gunners have already beaten Owen Coyle's side at the Emirates Stadium this season and their 3-0 victory last month spurred a run of six wins in seven matches as the north London side gradually regained some form following a dismal start to the season.

With Saturday's derby at Chelsea in mind, Wenger is likely to rest a number of first-team players - including Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Robin van Persie.

Carl Jenkinson (knee), Abou Diaby (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (stomach), Bacary Sagna (leg) and Jack Wilshire (ankle) are all side-lined so Wenger is expected to give starts to squad players such as Emmanuel Frimpong, Park Chu-young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Yossi Benayoun.

Owen Coyle has targeted Tuesday's match as a chance to turn Bolton's struggling season around.

Wanderers have lost seven of their nine Premier League games this campaign and are currently in the relegation zone.

Coyle is likely to make a number of changes to his team ahead of Tuesday's tie and has challenged those who are picked to retain their place for Saturday's Premier League game against Swansea.

"It's the last 16 of the cup and we've had to work hard and earn the right to be in this position," Coyle told Sky Sports.

"Tomorrow [Tuesday] will afford the opportunity for seven or eight players to start the game. They have the chance to win the cup tie and also to say that they want to be in the team for Saturday. That's the way it has got to be."

"Adam Bogdan, Gretar Steinsson, Ricardo Gardner, Mark Davies, Fabrice Muamba, Gael Kakuta, Tuncay and Ivan Klasnic will all play. Joe Riley will also be in the 18 - he is a player who has progressed really well."