Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates, as they look to move into the quarter finals of the League Cup and end their quest for silverware.
KICK OFF - 19:45 GMT/ 1:15 IST
It’s a London Derby at the Emirates as Arsenal take on Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. While the Gunners are enjoying a solid start to the season, they come up against a strong side, with their own being depleted. The young squad will have a lot to prove, with Wenger prioritizing the upcoming league clash with Liverpool over the cup match. Let’s take a closer look at both the teams.
Arsenal: The Gunners enter the match as firm underdogs, with a depleted squad owing to injuries and several factors. While Wenger has primarily used the Capital One Cup as a ground for the younger members of his squad to gain experience, he will have been wanted to field an experienced lineup for this one. Among the youngsters, Serge Gnabry has a late fitness test, while Gedion Zelalem and Thomas Eisfeld are both out with problems. Mathieu Flamini is on the treatment table due to a groin strain, after coming off against Crystal Palace during the weekend. Jack Wilshere has been declared fit to play, and will probably partner Tomas Rosicky in midfield. Youngster Olsson might be drafted into the lineup, while Arsene has confirmed that Isaac Hayden will be involved. The leadership of Thomas Vermaelen will be integral for this match, as the Belgian Captain looks to prove to the manager that he deserves to be back in the first-team squad for the Premier League. The Gunners have been on a good run, but this will the first of a series of challenges they will face. Arguably, the Capital One Cup should be the least of the Professor’s concerns.
Players to watch out for: Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry
Chelsea: Jose Mourinho will be all smiles due to the sheer amount of depth his squad possesses. He will be able to name a lineup that is a match –winner even in the Premier League. Juan Mata will probably make his return to the starting eleven along with David Luiz, after being sat on the bench against Manchester City. Samuel Eto’o will be leading the line for Chelsea, and the veteran striker will want to add some more goals and provide competition to an in-form Fernando Torres. Chelsea beat Swindon Town rather easily in the third round, but will arguably come up against better opposition in the form of their London rivals. It is however, a case of quality, with Chelsea having the better and more experienced players in their squad. Much will rest on the shoulders of Willian, who has had a somewhat quiet start to his career at Stamford Bridge. Juan Mata will want to bring himself to the focus of Mourinho, who has preferred to use Oscar as his main CAM.
Players to watch out for: Juan Mata, Samuel Eto’o
Head to Head:
Total - 157
Arsenal - 61
Chelsea - 50
Draw - 46
Prediction: While many would believe it an even competition with Arsenal having home advantage, the simple fact remains that the Arsenal team might just not be good enough. I will go for Chelsea winning 1-0, though for once, I hope I am proved wrong by the young Gunners.