Chelsea vs Arsenal: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg preview
Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
FA Cup holders Arsenal were dumped out of the competition at the third round stage for the first time in Wenger’s tenure.
A heavily-rotated Arsenal side were comfortably beaten 4-2 by Championship opposition Nottingham Forest, a result which leaves the Gunners with just one win in their last five.
Chelsea were also unconvincing in their FA Cup tie, being held to a 0-0 draw by Norwich at Carrow Road, forcing an unwanted replay in a week’s time.
The Blues are, however, on an eight-match unbeaten run.
The second of three Chelsea vs Arsenal games
Wednesday’s match is the second of three January meetings between these two sides, who played out a 2-2 draw at the start of the month.
Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin, Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso were all on target in a drama-filled epic at the Emirates.
Arsenal also beat Chelsea on penalties at Wembley in the Community Shield in May.
The two sides will meet again for the second leg at the Emirates on 24 January.
Chelsea team news vs Arsenal
Conte is set to field a fairly strong Chelsea eleven.
Ross Barkley is “feeling great now” after almost six months out injured. The midfielder could make his debut on Wednesday night.
Eden Hazard is expected to shake off a calf injury.
Arsenal team news vs Chelsea
Arsenal are set to make wholesale changes from the side which was knocked out of the FA Cup.
Although Wenger has traditionally used the League Cup to field youngsters, the competition represents the Gunners’ best opportunity of winning a trophy this season.
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil could both return, despite their respective futures at the club in doubt.
Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi could also return to the starting line-up, while Aaron Ramsey has an outside chance of being fit.
Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Sead Kolasinac are targeting returns for the upcoming Premier League match against Bournemouth.
Predicted Chelsea XI vs Arsenal
Predicted Arsenal Xi vs Chelsea