After criticising the fixture schedule, José Mourinho said that he will be fielding a weakened team against Arsenal. That ‘weakened team’ may feature the likes of Juan Mata and John Obi Mikel. Such is the squad strength of Chelsea that we really can go for four trophies this season. Expect a number of squad and younger players to be involved as in the match against Swindon. Nathan Ake and Tomas Kalas could be involved either from the start or as a substitute.
Chelsea last success in the League Cup came in the 2006-07 season, but the main motivation for winning this match should come because the opposition is Arsenal. A Chelsea win not only destroys Arsenal’s hopes of a trophy, but also dents their confidence for the forthcoming league matches as well.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal, Eisfeld, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Gnabry, Bendtner
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Bertrand, Mikel, Essien, De Bruyne, Mata, Willian, Eto’o
Chelsea have a fully fit squad apart from Marco van Ginkel.
Arsenal have a few injury worries. Yaya Sanogo, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mathieu Flamini, Lukas Podolski, and Theo Walcott are unavailable. Mikel Arteta is suspended after having received a straight red against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Mourinho’s thoughts ahead of the match:
“If they [fans] want the players that were playing (on Sunday), we cannot give them that.
“It’s [fielding a youth side] not the plan. We have to respect also our fans.
“We discussed that in the club. (But) we have to protect our players. We are going to try to do our job and we will do our job the best we can.”
TV broadcast details:
Sky Sports 1 (UK); beIN Sport (USA); SuperSport 3 Africa (Most of Africa); Ten Action (India)
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
Arsenal have had a day more to prepare for the match, but Chelsea’s incredible squad depth should see us through.