The first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals between Chelsea and Arsenal will take place tonight.
Game: Carabao Cup Semi-final
Date: Wednesday, January 10
Time: 20:00 (BST) / 14:00 (ET)
Place: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Linesmen: Steve Child and Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official: Jon Moss
VAR & AVAR: Neil Swarbrick and Mick McDonough (The game will be assisted with the Video Assistant Referee technology)
The Blues have a slight edge when it comes to their win rate in the last six clashes between the two sides. Chelsea have won two, drawn three and lost just one game.
Ross Barkley will not be making his debut yet as he continues to recover from his hamstring injury that has kept him on the sidelines since the start of the campaign.
Conte has all of his players at his disposal, meaning that Chelsea certainly have the edge when it comes to variety of players available to start in tonight’s game.
Bakayoko remains a big question for the game due to his poor performance at the Emirates last week and will likely be replaced by Danny Drinkwater in the starting XI of the Blues. Morata, however, is expected to lead the offense regardless of his horrible finishing against the Gunners last week.
Possible line-up(3-5-1-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Drinkwater, Kanté, Fàbregas, Alonso; Hazard; Morata.
The Gunners have a slight disadvantage when it comes to their win ratio in the latest 6 games between the two sides.
It is yet unknown whether Petr Čech will be rested in the Carabao Cup. While the Czech international had a brilliant game in the 2-2 Premier League draw last week, Ospina also impressed with his performances in the cup games so far.
Sánchez will likely feature in the starting XI of the Gunners regardless of all the exit talks linking him with a move to Manchester City.
Danny Welbeck is also expected to start for Arsenal tonight due to the absence of Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi’s partying antics.
Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi are still under question for tonight’s game and will require a late medical assessment before a final decision is made regarding their involvement.
Sead Kolašinac, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny will not be part of this week’s semi-final due to injuries.
Possible line-up(3-4-2-1): Opsina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles; Welbeck, Sánchez; Lacazzete.