Beast ready to roar in Cardiff
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Julio Baptista has told <EM>skysports.com</EM> that The Beast will roar in the Carling Cup final.
CHELSEA v ARSENAL
2007 Carling Cup Final
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Live on Sky Sports
2.30pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 1
Julio 'The Beast' Baptista has told skysports.com he intends to roar in the Carling Cup final and claim his first winners' medal with Arsenal.
The Brazilian forward is set to start in the showdown with Chelsea, live on Sky Sports 1, after scoring six goals in the competition so far this season.
Baptista has reserved his best performances for cup games since his summer move from Real Madrid, with the highlight undoubtedly being his four-goal haul at Anfield in the Carling Cup quarter-final.
However, the powerful star is hoping to top that display against Chelsea in Cardiff and help the young Gunners to claim the first domestic trophy of the season.
"In this campaign The Beast has done some mauling, but I am aiming to roar in the final with the cup in my hands," Baptista told skysports.com.
"The coach says Henry will not play in the final because it will be a chance for [Emmanuel] Adebayor and me.
"We have been united in other matches and I believe that it is possible to work again against Chelsea's defenders.
"A line with [John] Terry, [Ricardo] Carvalho, [Paulo] Ferreira or [Ashley] Cole is not easy because those players are at the top level.
"But for me this is an incentive and I dream to have my best match of the season."
The first ever all-London League Cup final sees Arsene Wenger keep faith with his talented youngsters against Jose Mourinho's two-time Premiership champions, and Baptista insists the highly-anticipated clash is too close to call.
However, the forward is acutely aware that Arsenal will need to stop Chelsea's supply line to Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba if they are to triumph in Cardiff.
"For me this match is 50-50, it is obvious that The Blues are the champions in the league but in the Carling Cup Arsenal are the big spectacle," Baptista added.
"This will be my first final with Arsenal and I am only thinking of the victory. A final without success is a trauma and I do not wish to experience this.
"Chelsea is a dangerous rival in every aspect. They are an excellent team because any of their players can cause us problems.
"Drogba is sensational in front of goal. Today I believe he is the striker with the best form in England.
"The key to the match is to stop him and to avoid him receiving the ball in our area."