Chelsea vs Arsenal Preview: Rivals to battle at the Bridge as semi-final launches

Antonio Conte's will host the Gunners as they look to take an advantage in the first leg.

Chelsea vs Arsenal Preview: Rivals to battle at the Bridge as semi-final launches
Antonio Conte will be wanting a better performance from his team against Arsenal on Wednesday night (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Joe Giddens)

Chelsea will host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening in their first leg of the Semi-Final in the Carabao Cup as they look to revert back to winning ways.

Antonio Conte’s side are coming off the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw to Norwich City in the FA Cup last weekend, having been held to a 2-2 draw with the Gunners in their Premier League meeting.

The Blues will be looking to progress to the final of the tournament and getting a win against Arsenal would be the perfect way for the West London outfit.

Arsene Wenger’s side are in their own slump and would be looking to get things right against their Capital rivals, having been shocked last weekend and dumped out of the FA Cup with a 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The League Cup remains the only domestic tournament the long-serving manager has not been able to grasp and will be hoping this season is when he finally can complete his English trophy cabinet.

Team News

The Blues will be confident going into the match, with Conte confirming that he has no new injury concerns ahead of the clash.

The Italian confirmed Eden Hazard will be in contention and could be handed a place in the starting line-up as he looks to field a strong team.

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No Barkley

Conte did confirm that the match had come too quickly for new signing Ross Barkley, as he continues to regain his fitness and adapt to his new club

The England international signed for Chelsea in a £15million deal from Everton last week, however, he has been unable to play since May with a niggling hamstring injury.

Predicted Starting XI: Courtois; Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Drinkwater, Kante, Fabregas, Moses; Hazard, Morata.

Wenger has admitted his side will be weakened for the trip to Stamford Bridge, stating that he has a number of injury concerns ahead of the London clash.

Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi will both have to face late fitness tests with both carrying knocks.

The midfield ace has been struggling with a groin injury, whilst the Germany international defender is also suffering from an unspecified knock.

Predicted Starting XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Maitland-Niles; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette.

Background

Chelsea will have the history books on their side when it comes to the two teams meeting, having won four of their five League Cup ties against the Gunners.

The Gunners have had a difficult time when visiting Stamford Bridge, having only won once in their last nine trips.