The London Derby is going to take place again within seven days after two sides settled down for a 2-2 stalemate at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League. Again two sides will meet other in the League Cup semi final on Wednesday.
In the meantime Chelsea have signed Ross Barkley from Everton with just £15m transfer fee. It was a real bargain of a deal in the inflated transfer market these days. The inclusion of this attacking midfielder in the Chelsea side will surely boost up the players ahead of this important tie against Arsenal. Antonio Conte will surely field a strong starting eleven against the Gunners after a disappointing draw against Norwich City in the third round of FA Cup. The new signing Ross Barkley could prove to the X factor for Chelsea in this clash.
The things have not gone according to the plans of Arsene Wenger and Co after the match against Chelsea as they were beaten by the Championship side Nottingham Forest in the third round of FA Cup. The early exit from the FA Cup will lead Wenger to focus more on this match as the only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season left for them would be the League Cup. But the things will not be very easy against a mighty Chelsea side. Arsene Wenger will be more thoughtful about his team’s defensive organization in this match as one silly mistake may lead to a Trophyless season for Arsenal.
When and Where?
Stamford Bridge host the late night League Cup Semi-final fixture at 20:00 BST, Wednesday.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte might be furious with his side’s performance against Norwich City in the third round of FA Cup which has forced them to play a ‘Replay’ in this congested set of fixtures awaiting for them in this month.
No new injury concerns are there for Antonio Conte and he might opt to play the new signing of the winter transfer window Ross Barkley if the player is fit enough to play as Tiemoue Bakayoko is not performing well in last few matches for Chelsea.
On the other hand, Arsenal have bulk of injuries namely – Sead Kolasinac who picked up an injury during the 1-1 draw against West Brom joining Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines. Granit Xhaka is also having a tight groin problem but may feature in the all important match against Chelsea.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have to watch from the stands with 3 game touchline ban handed by FA due to his comments on referees decisions in two consecutive games against West Bromwich and Chelsea.
Key Clashes :
The combination of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard will prove to be pivotal for the Blues in this match. Morata is in great form and his scoring in this match will be a key to success for Chelsea. On the other hand, the trio of Lacazette, Ozil and Sanchez will be up to give the challenge back to the Chelsea defense.