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    Joe Jones
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    EFL Cup Preview: Chelsea and Arsenal clash in semi-final first leg

    We're a quarter of the way through the EFL Cup semi-final ties as Manchester City sneaked a 2-1 win against Championship side Bristol City in their first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

    Up next we're at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea host Arsenal in their first leg. How will the game pan out? Football Manics takes a look.

    Route to semi-finals

    Chelsea began in the third round with a dominant 5-1 home win over Nottingham Forest, with Michy Batshuayi scoring a hat-trick.

    In round four they edged past Everton 2-1, again at Stamford Bridge, before another narrow win at home in the quarter-finals, a 2-1 defeat of Bournemouth.

    Arsenal were at home in round three and squeaked past Doncaster Rovers 1-0 thanks to Theo Walcott's 25th-minute winner.

    Round four brought another non-Premier League team and another narrow win, Eddie Nketiah scoring a late brace to overturn a one-goal deficit for a 2-1 win over Norwich City.

    Danny Welbeck was the matchwinner in the quarter-finals thanks to his goal close to half time in the 1-0 home win over West Ham.

    Head to head

    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.

    Three of the last five games between these two ended in a draw after 90 minutes, alongside a win apiece.


    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.

    Team news

    Chelsea were without Eden Hazard in their FA Cup meeting with Norwich City at the weekend but he has fully shaken off his calf complaint to be in contention against the Gunners.

    Arsene Wenger has more fitness problems to worry about and will be without Sead Kolasinac, Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, whilst Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi remain doubts.


    It's always hard to call when two big teams face each other in the latter stages of a cup competition, but given Chelsea are in better form and have virtually no injury complaints, compared to an Arsenal side reeling from their shock loss to Nottingham Forest plus a longer injury list, you'd fancy Antonio Conte's side to get a decent result at home.

    Score prediction: 2-1

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