Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal as the two teams face off in the EFL Cup semi-finals. The 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last Wednesday was a compelling contest so let's hope for more of the same at Stamford Bridge this evening in the first leg.
Arsene Wenger continues his three-match touchline ban at Stamford Bridge having served the first game of his suspension during Arsenal’s 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Complaints about referees landed the Frenchman in hot water, but he’ll be delighted to know VAR is being used in both legs of this semi-final.
Alexis Sanchez begins the game on the bench while Alex Iwobi starts despite his partying antics last week. Eden Hazard starts for Chelsea, and new signing Ross Barkley is still on his way back from a hamstring injury.
Follow it live with our live blog below
Hello! Welcome to live coverage of Chelsea vs Arsenal in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg. These two played out a zinger last week at the Emirates so let's hope for more of the same, although this time we will have the added fun of the Video Assistant Referee system in operation. Expect Arsene and VAR to get on famously.
This incident got Arsene Wenger riled
Kick-off is 8pm GMT. Team news coming right up!
Pre-match quotes from Arsenal's Danny Welbeck
"Tonight is a chance to put things right after the disappointment of the weekend. We've got an opportunity tonight to try and make amends.
"When we get on the pitch and we get our tactics right, we're going to try and win the game.
"Wembley is a special place and to reach the final will be a great occasion. We know we've got two legs to go. We look forward to the game and we're going to do our best."
Quotes from Sky Sports
Team news from Stamford Bridge should be with us in T minus two minutes.
Chelsea vs Arsenal team news
Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Alonso; Hazard, Morata
Chelsea subs: Eduardo, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi
Arsenal starting XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette
Arsenal subs: Macey, Mavropanos, Mertesacker, Nelson, Elneny, Walcott, Alexis
Team news analysis
Antonio Conte has named a full-strength side for tonight's game but the same can't be said of Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal's manager has named back-up goalkeeper David Ospina in goal, while Alexis Sanchez is only on the bench. Mesut Ozil misses out altogether with a knee injury.
Interestingly, Alex Iwobi starts for the visitors - despite yesterday being told that he faces disciplinary action for going on a night out less than 48 hours before the Gunners' FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Alexis Sanchez starts on the bench tonight for Arsenal
Pre-match quotes from Arsene Wenger
On the importance of tonight's match: "We look forward to this game because we had a bad game on Sunday. It is a good opportunity to show that we can respond quickly."
On Mesut Ozil's omission from the squad: "He has a recurrence of his knee problem. He is seeing a specialist today. We hope it will be a short-term problem. He has a small chance to be ready for Sunday but he came in yesterday and couldn't practice."
On his decision to leave Alexis Sanchez out of the starting XI: "You cannot explain every single decision. That's the decision of the day. He is completely focused and he has given a lot recently. He's ready to come on and play a part in this game."
Quotes from Sky Sports
Arsene Wenger is keen for his players to show a reaction after Sunday's FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest
Chelsea vs Arsenal - last five meetings
- Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea, January 2018 (Premier League)
- Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, September 2017 (Premier League)
- Arsenal* 1-1 Chelsea, August 2017 (Community Shield - *Arsenal won on penalties)
- Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, May 2017 (FA Cup)
- Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal, February 2017 (Premier League)
The two teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Emirates last week
Whichever team comes out on top in this two-legged tie will meet either Manchester City or Bristol City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on February 25.
Here's a reminder of what happened in the first leg of that tie last night:
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