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KonkNaija Media | May 4, 2016

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Arsenal, Chelsea in Cup showdown

Fewer than 48 hours after a dramatic win against Manchester City, Chelsea again face heavyweight opposition as they take on Arsenal in a repeat of the 2007 League Cup final on Tuesday night.

However, Blues boss Jose Mourinho believes fans at the Emirates Stadium will be denied a true spectacle because of poor scheduling.

After learning that his side would have to play twice in three days, Mourinho originally indicated that he would field under-21 players against the Gunners.

But the Portuguese manager, who won this competition twice in his first spell in charge, has since had a change of heart out of “respect” for Blues fans.

Instead he will use his first-team squad on Tuesday, albeit deploying those players who were not involved at the weekend.

Arsenal may have had 28 hours more rest than Chelsea but a fourth game in the space of 11 days could be similarly problematic for a Gunners squad with arguably less strength in depth than the Blues.

This is a trophy that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has never won, although in fairness the Frenchman has rarely prioritised the competition.

However, Wenger will be loath to see his side surrender winning momentum ahead of testing November fixtures against Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United.



•Chelsea have lost only four of their last 23 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions (W13, D6, L4).
•The Blues have won their last three League Cup games against the Gunners, including victory in the 2007 final.


•Defeat would mean Arsenal suffer back-to-back home defeats (in all competitions) for the first time since February 2013, when Blackburn and then Bayern Munich won at the Emirates.
•The Gunners have won nine of their last 10 home League Cup ties, scoring 29 times.
•Their only defeat in that sequence was a 1-0 loss to Manchester City in 2011.
•They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches in this competition, a sequence that began with defeat to Birmingham in the 2011 final.


•The Blues won the League Cup twice in Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge – in 2005 and 2007.
•In total, they have lifted the trophy four times – only Liverpool (eight) and Aston Villa (five) have won the competition more often.
•Chelsea have won their last three away games in all competitions, scoring 10 times and conceding just once.