Fourth seasonal head to head between Antonio Conte's Chelsea and Arsenal trained by Arsene Wenger, two of the coaches who, with Josè Mourinho, needle themselves more in England. After Community Shield match in early August and two Premier League games, all ended with a draw (the last one last January 3 at the Emirates Stadium with a final score of 2-2) two teams compete in the first leg of Carabao Cup semifinal. In last weekend, the two played third round of the FA Cup: Chelsea is going to play replay with Norwich City after 0-0 at Carrow Road, while Arsenal were a little surprise beaten on the Nottingham Forest field for 4-2. Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck scored for the Gunners.
Match Preview & Team News
Chelsea will look to take advantage of home advantage in the first leg and seize the initiative in this League Cup semi final. Blues are in a good moment: there are 8 consecutive positive results achieved by Chelsea in the last games of all competitions: 5 wins and 3 draws. Antonio Conte has a clean bill of health ahead of the first leg of their League Cup semi final with Arsenal, except for Ross Barkley that had a serious hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined all season. In last week's 2-2 draw at the Emirates, Tiemoué Bakayoko was poor and Conte may think about changing him for Danny Drinkwater or Alvaro Morata. Spaniard striker is expected to keep his place up front despite a horror evening in front of goal in Emirates match. Arsene Wenger will have to give up to Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud, Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny. Doubt for Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey: the first one is expected to start against Chelsea despite suffering a slight muscle injury against the Blues last week, while the second one has a chance to play Wednesday's match but he has missed Arsenal's last eight games.
Chelsea vs Arsenal betting predictions:
Arsenal is the underdogs in this semifinal tie. Arsenal have struggled for consistency on their travels this season, winning just 3 of 12 domestic away matches thus far. They were also eliminated from the FA Cup third round by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest on Sunday. There are last 5 consecutive Arsenal matches in all the competitions in which both teams scored.
Both teams to score - 1.70
Chelsea to win - 1.80
Exact score 2-1 8.00
*odds accurate as of 16.06 (8 january) from bet365