On Wednesday evening, fifth place Arsenal host third-place Chelsea as both sides look to continue their respective quests for a top-four finish and a title challenge, though both are faltering.
The last time the sides met was back in September where an interesting 0-0 draw was played out (the first point Arsenal gained at Stamford Bridge since a 5-3 win back in October 2011, and the fourth 0-0 draw between the sides in six seasons).
It’ll be interesting to see which sides are played given they play each other in the first leg semi-finals of the EFL Cup next week.
When Arsenal played host last season, the home side won 3-0 which then forced Antonio Conte to play three at the back – a formation that worked in the lead up to their title win. It could be argued that Arsenal effectively “gifted” Chelsea the title with their home win last season.
Arsene Wenger described Laurent Koscielny as “30 percent available, 70 percent not”, so the French defender is almost certainly unavailable for the clash.
Sead Kolasinac, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey are also out through injury, which gives Wenger a squad selection headache.
On the Chelsea front, only Charly Musonda is missing, but Conte says he should be available for the Norwich City game at the weekend.
Arsenal are formidable at home, having picked up 21 points from a possible 24. Their only home loss came in early December against a Jesse Lingard- inspired Manchester United side.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have dropped 10 points away, with their last loss coming against West Ham in the second week of December.
Going by that, Arsenal have the edge, but given that they have seven points between them in their last three encounters, its a pretty tight game to call.
As I said, its a tight game to call, and this could go either way, especially as Arsenal are consistent in inconsistency. Having said that, Arsenal are yet to draw at home. Once again, I’ll let you predict the outcome.
What will give in this EFL Cup semi-final “dress rehearsal”?
Here are highlights of their last meeting: