Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Arsenal welcome London rivals Chelsea to the Emirates tonight in the fourth round clash in the Capital One Cup. Here’s a preview with team news for the game.
Arsenal welcome London rivals Chelsea to the Emirates tonight in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
The Gunners head into the game in fine form after cementing their place at the top of the Premier League with a hard fought 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s men have gone over eight years since last winning a trophy and the League Cup could represent their best chance to end that drought if they can overcome one of the favourites tonight.
Jose Mourinho’s men are hot on the trail of Arsenal in the league, moving to within two points after a last-gasp 2-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
The Portuguese coach had a rocky relationship with his opposite number during his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge but the pair claim they have since settled their differences, although you wouldn’t bet against a few fireworks in on the touchline this evening.
Arsene Wenger is expected to rotate his squad with several first team players given a well-earned rest.
Midfielder Mathieu Flamini is facing three weeks on the sidelines with a groin injury picked up at the weekend while Mikel Arteta is suspended after being sent off in the same game.
Wenger has confirmed youngster Isaac Hayden will start and he could be joined by Jack Wilshere in midfield after the England ace was passed fit despite carrying an ankle knock.
Ryo Miyaichi, Nicklas Bendtner and Tomas Rosicky could all start while Serge Gnabry is also expected to feature if he can prove his fitness after suffering an ankle problem against Palace.
Youngsters Thomas Eisfeld and Gideon Zalalem are both struggling with injuries and could join Theo Walcott, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby on the sidelines.
Mourinho is also expected to shuffle his pack but has back-tracked on an earlier threat to play a youth team for the game in protest at having to play the fixture just 48 hours after their clash with City.
While the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Frank Lampard and John Terry are all expected to be left out, the Blues will still field a strong line-up that may include full international’s such as Juan Mata, Demba Ba, Michael Essien, David Luiz and Willian.
Youngsters Keven De Bruyne and Tomas Kalas could also get a chance to impress while veteran Mark Schwarzer is likely to start in goal.
Juan Mata: If the Spaniard starts he will certainly be the man Arsenal will need to pay close attention to. He has suffered from inconsistent form this season but is still world class on his day and has punished the Gunners in the past.
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea: We can see this being a close game that may well go all the way to penalties, in which case it will be a coin flip for who will progress to the quarter finals.
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