Arsene Wenger expects "another attractive game" when Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup

Arsenal take on Chelsea for part two of three encounters this month in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup

Arsene Wenger expects "another attractive game" when Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup
A man under pressure once more (Image by Stuart MacFarlane/GettyImages)

After what was arguably one of the games of the Premier League season so far last week, Arsenal and Chelsea will do battle once again for a place in the final of the Carabao Cup.

The pair played their part in a thrilling 2-2 draw last Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium, and now meet for the first leg of the semi-final at Stamford Bridge, with the second leg a fortnight later at the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger has been facing the media ahead of the first-leg, and knows that his side needs a response following Sunday's shock FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest.

Another cracker?

Speaking ahead of the game, Wenger is looking forward to another crack at Chelsea, and knows that the mindset from both sides will be a lot different than the one a week ago.

"In the championship both teams have one game to get the three points," Wenger said, via Arsenal.com.

"In this tie, over 180 minutes, it's always a bit different. You want to go there, be solid and try to take advantage of every mistake, of every weakness, to win the game." The Frenchman said. "We also know there is another game after that, and we need to be solid defensively too."

Wenger went on to say:"I believe it can be a very attractive game, but football is so unpredictable it can as well be a locked game, where both teams know each other well, they know they have 180 minutes to win the tie, so both things are possible.

"It can be a crazy game, but as well it can be locked. Overall we gave too many chances away in the game (last week) and we were a bit unlucky as well as their penalty was a bit unfortunate."

No players returning from injury…

Wenger also gave an update on the current injury situation ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge, with the likelihood of key names returning being unlikely.

"We don't recover anyone unfortunately," Wenger claimed.

"I believe that on Sunday we paid the price for having many injured players. Some needed to be rested but we also had five or six players injured. That's a bit detrimental to the rotation as well. 

"For Sunday (against Bournemouth, I don't think anybody will come back."

Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi will both have late tests ahead of the trip to Chelsea, Wenger claimed. Though, both are still heavy doubts.

Still no update on Ozil and Wilshere contracts

As January rolls in, so does the transfer window, and for Wenger the constant questions regarding the contract situation regarding key names, such as Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, with both player's contracts expiring in the summer.

"No news, no," Wenger answered when asked about a general update.

"We are working on it and as soon as we have any definite solution, we will get back to you (the media)."

Sanchez saga

Another big name whose contract expires at the end of the season, is Alexis Sanchez, and the Chilean has once again been heavily linked with a move to runaway leaders Manchester City during this transfer window.

When Wenger was asked whether the club had been contacted by City for their star man, the Frenchman replied "No."

"I expect nothing. When solicitations happen, you respond to it. At the moment, it's very quiet."

Though, Wenger still insists that Sanchez's current situation is having not having a negative effect on the rest of the squad.

"What is the most important is to be professional, to perform no matter what the environment is," Wenger said.

"That's why I believe that it does not have a big influence on your performance nor the performance of the team. It's part of our job to deal with that."

Iwobi reports

It was reported shortly after the defeat at Nottingham Forest, that Alex Iwobi had been pictured at a late night party, just hours before the game. Wenger was quizzed about this during his press conference, and had this to say on the matter.

"If that is true, he will be fined," Wenger stated.

"It is impossible to go out 48 hours before a game. It's unacceptable. I will have to of course see him to see if that is right or not.

"It was not the night before the game," Wenger revealed, "it was 48 hours before the game. The night before the game we were in a hotel. But it is not acceptable and I will have to speak to him about that.

"First of all you have to be cautious with the news coming out, when you read what is reported it is like he has taken drugs.

Wenger continued: "I do not think he is not involved in that at all, he has been out at a birthday party. How long has he stayed? That is important. After, I will decide what happens."

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The arrival of VAR

Wednesday's game at Chelsea will mark another turn out for Video Analysis in English football, as VAR will be present at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger was full of praise for the much talked about technology, with his side very much in need of it after recent weeks. The boss opened the new system with open arms, when asked about whether he is for or against.

"Yes of course, because there are so many things happening recently I think we would welcome it," Wenger claimed.

"But first of all there is still a demand for clear rules on, for example, what is a penalty and what is not a penalty before we go into VAR, as it can get more confused as well."