Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Chelsea v Arsenal semi-final
Jan 10 2018 by Marjorie Miles
The Gunners are coming off the back of a shock FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest on Sunday in a 4-2 defeat and Arsene Wenger will be looking for an immediate reaction from his team.
London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal will renew hostilities when they meet in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
The victor will face either Manchester City or Bristol City.
Arsenal are down in sixth as they bid to try and qualify for the Champions League after having missed out on a top-four finish last term under Arsene Wenger.
It was three days after that game that Antonio Conte described Wenger as an "old coach" who should accept the decisions of the referee, comments which have rather been lost by the outbreak of war between Conte and Jose Mourinho.
Arsenal's last League Cup-winning campaign came in the pre-Wenger era in 1993, with the Frenchman's team losing in both his final appearances in 2007 and 2011.
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The first-choice trio of Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac remain injured ahead of Wednesday's trip to Stamford Bridge with none of the three to have featured this year. I'm Arsenal, Conte is Chelsea. David Luiz is expected to be rested as he played for the full 90 minutes in FA Cup tie against Norwich at the weekend as he has just returned from injury.
"Eden is fit, in a good physical condition", Conte said ahead of the game.
"I think that we must be pleased, but he needs a bit of time to work on the physical and tactical aspects".
Many pundits and former players alike are already writing off our chances tonight, with our defence looking shaky in recent weeks, and our form matches that, but Wenger will be putting out a strong side today despite knowing that a draw could well be enough to set us up to win on aggregate.
Arsenal qualified for the Carabao Cup semifinal by beating West Ham 1-0, while Chelsea reached the semis after a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.