Big Match Breakdown: Chelsea v Arsenal
Nick Murphy | 10 January 2018
London rivals meet once more
Stamford Bridge is the venue for the second Carabao Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Arsenal this evening.
Both sides head into this match off the back of disappointing FA Cup results at the weekend. The hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by Norwich City, while Arsenal crashed out in a 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
With this competition providing the most likely chance of silverware for either club, the Coral News Team are expecting a hard-fought encounter.
Here’s this evening’s Big Match Breakdown.
This is the second meeting between the two clubs in the last seven days. Last week’s encounter ended all-square at 2-2 thanks to Hector Bellerin’s last minute equaliser. Earlier in the season, the pair played out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
In the Carabao Cup, it’s Chelsea who hold the advantage over their North London rivals. The Blues have won their last four fixtures against the Gunners in this competition, including in the 2007 showpiece at the Millennium Stadium.
Antonio Conte is expected to name a similar XI to the one which started against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last week. Alvaro Morato and Eden Hazard will both return as the hosts revert to a 3-5-1-1 formation.
Arsene Wenger will welcome back several big names including Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil as he attempts to save face following Sunday’s defeat to Forest. Inexperienced pair Rob Holding and Calum Chambers will continue alongside Shkodran Mustafi in a back three.
The Gunners will need to be stronger at the back to deal with the joint-threat of Morata and Hazard. The Belgian has terrorised Arsenal in the past and will fancy his chances against the visitors, who will be low-on-confidence.
Jack Wilshere is a match-winner with the ball at his feet and will need serious attention from N’Golo Kante and co. Ainsley Maitland-Niles also shone in last week’s encounter and will pose a threat again down the flanks.
It’s worth noting that the Gunners have given away four penalties in their last three matches. Hazard scored from the spot in last week’s match and is 6/4 to net Anytime once again. Alexandre Lacazette is best-priced for the North Londoners at 21/10.
If the game seven days ago is anything to go by, there should be goals. It’s 4/6 for Both Teams to Score and a more tempting 15/4 for Draw and Both Teams to Score to land once again.
Both of these sides tend to do their best work after half-time. Seven of Chelsea’s last 11 goals have come after the break while that extends to nine out of 11 for Arsenal. The Coral News Team like the look of Over 2.5 Goals in the Second Half at 5/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing