Chelsea and Arsenal meet for the second time in just a week as they clash in the Semi Final of the Carabao Cup.
Antonio Conte is expected to field a strong side for tonights clash with Eden Hazard in contention to start against the Gunners.
New signing Ross Barkley is unlikely to start today after completing a £15m move from Everton. Barkley has yet to play a single minute of Premier League football this season.
When asked when Barkley will be ready for action, Conte said ” I don’t know, it’s very difficult to say now.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal are coming off a 4-2 loss against Nottingham Forest over the weekend as they were knocked out of the FA Cup 3rd for the first time under Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup remains their best option for silverware this season.
“I would love to win [the Carabao Cup] because we are now in the semi-final and if it’s an opportunity we will try to take it. There is still a long way to go because you have Man City against Bristol City and then it is us against Chelsea, so it is a bit similar to last year in the FA Cup.”
Eden Hazard is in contention to start for the blues whereas Granit Xhaka Shkodran Mustafi will undergo late fitness tests to determine whether they will be able to feature in tonight’s clash.
Chelsea have won four of their five League Cup ties against Arsenal, including the semi-final en route to winning the trophy in 1997-98 (4-3 on aggregate).
Arsenal’s only progression against Chelsea in the competition came in a fourth-round win at Highbury in 1976-77.
The Gunners have won just one of their last nine visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions (W1 D1 L7), a 5-3 win in the Premier League in October 2011.
The Blues have progressed from four of their last five League Cup semi-finals (2005, 2007, 2008 and 2015), failing only under Rafael Benitez against Swansea in 2012-13.
This will be Arsenal’s 15th appearance in the League Cup semi-finals – only Liverpool (17) have played in more.
However, no side has been knocked out at this stage more than Arsenal (7), while the Gunners have lost five of the seven finals they’ve played when they do get through.
Chelsea have conceded a 90th-minute goal in each of their three Carabao Cup ties this season, but have also scored twice in the last minute (vs Everton and Bournemouth).
Arsene Wenger has reached the League Cup final twice as Arsenal manager (2007 and 2011), but it remains the only domestic trophy he’s not won with the Gunners.