Arsenal play host to Chelsea in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. The Gunners played out a 0-0 stalemate during the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, and they will come into the fixture with some optimism after overseeing the return of key first-team players from injury.
The hosts prepared themselves for the encounter with a fine 4-1 triumph over Crystal Palace where they put the game to bed midway through the first period. The north London side took a four-nil lead after just over 20 minutes in the clock, and this pretty much summed the result as Palace played catchup throughout the game.
In contrary, the Blues also secured their first Premier League of 2018 after they thumped Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 on the road. Likewise the Gunners, the west London giants took a two-nil in the space of five first-half minutes, and they had to withstand some relentless Brighton pressure before finishing the game off in the dying stages.
Players to watch for:
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal: The Germany international returned from a minor knee injury during the Eagles game, and he immediately made a mark with his intrinsic passing and exceptional movement without the ball. Ozil marked his return with a brilliant back-heel assist for Alexandre Lacazette, and his brilliant link-up play with Jack Wilshere was another positive to come from the Gunners’ victory. Ozil was a torn to the Blues’ defence in the 2-2 draw earlier this month.
Eden Hazard – Arsenal: Hazard enjoyed an excellent individual game versus Brighton, where some of his teammates were not upto the mark. The Belgian capped the performance with a goal in either half, and he will hope to make a similar impact at the Emirates. Hazard was the standout player with a penalty goal during the 2-2 draw, but he looked off colour in the goalless stalemate at Stamford Bridge, where he showed signs of fatigue.
Arsenal don’t seem to keep clean sheets at any stadium, and thus, we expect both sides to score. The Gunners to progress to the final via a late winner in extra-time, Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea