Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Three things to expect from the Carabao Cup semi-final

      

Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Three things to expect from the Carabao Cup semi-final

Picture: Ronnie Macdonald

The Blues face Arsenal at the Emirates for one of the more eye-catching matches this week.

The host will be looking to play a more open game, this time at home, compared to the bore draw they produced in the first leg.

Both clubs are in a situation where other trophies look out of sight at the moment, so they are likely to throw a considerable effort in reaching the final, where raving Manchester City awaits.

On this note we take a look at what to expect ahead of the Arsenal/Chelsea clash.

Life after Alexis Sanchez

The exit of talented Chilean forward will be in the spotlight when the Gunners welcome the Blues at Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal star has been a subject of transfer deliberations in recent months, but Arsene Wenger was adamant about the transfer situation. However, it has dragged on for too long and that has taken its toll on the dressing room spirit.

The ball is in the Gunners' court as they must respond to losing their best player, and how they do it could define the rest of their season.

Massive response from Arsenal

They have had other things on their mind too. The Gunners were defeated 4-2 by Nottingham Forest and thus have been ousted from the FA cup competition this season. 

However, with manner at which they were defeated and the situations and implications surrounding their defeat the Gunners are expected to put up a good showing at home against Chelsea to salvage their season. While the Carabao Cup is not the World Cup or the Champions League, it is still a trophy.

And with chances for the league title disappearing for Arsenal as City seats comfortably on top of the League, this could be a huge morale booster for the squad and much more than that for Arsene Wenger.

Chelsea are not an easy team to beat, but statistics are on the Gunners' side as Wenger has a good track record against Antonio Conte.

Possible debut for Ross Barkley

The transfer window has re-opened in the New Year and a host of clubs has made some personnel upgrades.

However, the focus has mostly been on the edge where the big sides dig their hands with transfer market to make deliberate acquisition in order to compete at the top.

The likes of Liverpool have completed the signing of center-back Virgil Van Diyk, while Barcelona had signed long-time target Philippe Coutinho.

However, the Blues acquired the services of Ross Barkley from Everton despite his long injury lay off in the season.

The Everton talent may be set to make a debut at the Emirates Stadium and reports suggest that he is ready and raring to go. But it will ultimately come down to Conte.

 

 

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Premier League 2017/18

# Team P GD Pts
1 Manchester City FC 38 79 100
2 Manchester United FC 38 40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 38 77
4 Liverpool FC 38 46 75
5 Chelsea FC 38 24 70
6 Arsenal FC 38 23 63
7 Burnley FC 38 -3 54
8 Everton FC 38 -14 49
9 Leicester City FC 38 -4 47
10 Newcastle United FC 38 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace FC 38 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 -16 44
13 West Ham United FC 38 -20 42
14 Watford FC 38 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 -30 37
17 Southampton FC 38 -19 36
18 Swansea City FC 38 -28 33
19 Stoke City FC 38 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion FC 38 -25 31