On Wednesday night, Arsenal travel to London rivals Chelsea for the League Cup semi-final first leg.
Chelsea will be hoping to gain the initiative in this tie in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. The Blues clashed with Arsenal just last week, in a game that ended 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium.
Since then Antonio Conte’s side produced a rather listless display at Norwich on Sunday in the FA Cup third round and were held to a goalless draw by the Canaries. However, Blues boss Conte had rotated his squad in order for his star players to be fit for this clash.
Chelsea have a good recent home record. The Blues are unbeaten in 11 games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions, having won their last four games on home soil. The home side have also not suffered a home loss against the Gunners since 2011, although the last two games between the pair have finished all square.
Arsenal heads into this clash on the back of a shock 4-2 defeat against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round. The defeat means that the League Cup may be the Gunners best chance of winning silverware this season.
Arsene Wenger’s side have not been in great form of late. Although the FA Cup defeat against Forest was their only loss in ten outings in all competitions, the side from north London have struggled to win games, winning just four of their last ten games.
The Gunners recent away record has been inconsistent. However, they have won just two of their last eight games on their travels.
Luckily enough for Wenger’s team the last three rounds of this competition have been at the Emirates Stadium, where they defeated Doncaster Rovers, Norwich City and West Ham.
Chelsea will restore their first choice starting eleven in this clash, after resting a number of key players for the draw at Norwich. The only likely absentee is new signing Ross Barkley, who is not yet match fit after recovering from injury.
Arsenal fielded a weakened side against Nottingham Forest, but a number of key players will start in this clash. The Gunners are still likely to be without Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny due to injury. Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka are also fitness doubts.
Chelsea are favourites to win this clash at odds of 3/ 4, while the draw is odds of 29/10 and Arsenal are odds of 4/ 1 to win the match.
This is a difficult clash for Arsenal. The Gunners will be hopeful of a positive result to take into the second leg at the Emirates Stadium, though.
Will Arsenal pick up a positive result at Stamford Bridge?