Chelsea will look to take advantage of home advantage in the first leg and seize the initiative in this League Cup semi final. The Blues haven’t beaten Arsenal in their last four encounters but haven’t lost at home to the Gunners since October 2011.
Arsene Wenger has only lost more games against Manchester United (26) than he has versus Chelsea (19) in his career and Arsenal are the underdogs in this semi final tie.
Arsenal have struggled for consistency on their travels this season, winning just three of 12 domestic away matches thus far. They were also eliminated from the FA Cup third round by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Arsenal played well in patches in the 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea last week, but should really had lost that match after Alvaro Morata spurned three great goalscoring chances.
A trip to Stamford Bridge is always difficult and the objective for Arsenal will be to ensure they are still in the contest when they take the game back to the Emirates.Team News
Chelsea – Ross Barkley will have to wait to make his Chelsea debut as he continues to recover from a serious hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined all season.
Antonio Conte otherwise have a clean bill of health ahead of the first leg of their League Cup semi final with Arsenal and is expected to name a similar XI to the one that started last week’s 2-2 draw with the Gunners.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was poor at the Emirates and Conte may think about changing him for Danny Drinkwater here, but Alvaro Morata is expected to keep his place up front despite a horror evening in front of goal in that match.
Arsenal – Arsene Wenger is poised to rest Petr Cech after promising David Ospina playing time in the cups this season.
Alexis Sanchez is expected to start despite being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, but a knee injury may keep out Mesut Ozil.
Danny Welbeck will expect to start in Ozil’s absence following Alex Iwobi’s recent antics away from football.
Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi will both need late fitness tests before a decision is made on their involvement.
Sead Kolasinac, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny won’t feature until at least the weekend.
Who will win?