Chelsea are set to face Arsenal for the third time this month and fifth time overall this season, and unlike in three of the four meetings, a winner must be found in this League Cup semifinal second leg at the Emirates on Wednesday. Whether in normal, extra-time, or in a penalty kick shootout, only one of the teams may advance to the Wembley final to play Manchester City (barring a Bristol City miracle).
Each of the previous four meetings ended in a draw, twice 0-0 at the Bridge, 2-2 at the Emirates at the start of his month, and 1-1 in the Community Shield that was subsequently decided on ABBA penalties.
How about a win this time? Eden Hazard has a plan.
“It’s a semi-final, we will go there to win for sure. If we are thinking about defending against Arsenal that’s a bad thing because we need to score goals. We will see the team, maybe the manager will change some players. We want to win trophies and the League Cup is a good trophy.
“Big games are special because you know everyone is watching and our fans want Chelsea in the final. The stadium is good and on these kind of nights you want to shine. We need to find solutions and create problems for them. We will go there to create chances because if we don’t create chances we can’t score. It is that simple.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Chelsea FC
Okay, maybe not so much a plan but an intention. As the yogis say, it’s important to set a good intention.
So, we need a plan. Starting with a starting lineup. Cahill and Fàbregas (most likely) remain out with hamstring injuries, while Kenedy is on his way to Newcastle. Others could be back after minor ankle knocks (Courtois, Drinkwater), and Christensen should be available following his concussion-scare on Saturday. Pedro and Morata are back as well, having served their one-match suspensions.