MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 16:47:44
Jan 10, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium (London)
Attendance: 40,097

Kante (79')

Xhaka (51'), Elneny (87')

Live Commentary: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal - as it happened

Live Commentary: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal - as it happened
© Offside
Relive the goalless draw between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge as neither side are able to build a first-leg advantage in their EFL Cup semi-final.

Chelsea and Arsenal drew for the third time this season as the Gunners held the Premier League champions to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge this evening.

The hosts had the better openings of an anticlimactic contest just a week after they had played out a thriller in the league, with Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Christensen both squandering presentable headed chances.

The draw leaves Arsenal with the slightest advantage heading into their home second leg, which will take place at the Emirates Stadium in a fortnight's time.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.

10pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's EFL Cup semi-final first leg as Chelsea and Arsenal play out another draw - this time a goalless one at Stamford Bridge. I will leave you with our match report and be sure to stick around for reaction from both camps too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

9.58pmMartin Atkinson brings matters to a close in this first leg, then, and in truth a 0-0 draw is quite fitting for what was a pretty dour contest at Stamford Bridge - world's apart from what we saw between the two sides just a week ago.

Chelsea just about shaded the game in terms of chances and overall play, but they didn't do enough to win the game and neither keeper was really forced into any saves that they wouldn't have expected to make. The very slight advantage lies with Arsenal ahead of the second leg at the Emirates later this month!

90+5 minFULL TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

90+3 minI must admit I was expecting a flurry of late activity in this match, but it just has never really got going tonight. It is a far cry from the Premier League clash between the two a week ago.

90 minThere will be FIVE added minutes at the end of this match! Still plenty of time!

88 minOFF THE POST! Strange one for Chelsea here as Fabregas makes it to the byline down the right channel before squeezing a cross into the middle which takes a deflection and hits the outside of the near post before going behind for a corner.

87 minCHELSEA SUB: That is Morata's final action too as he is replaced by Michy Batshuayi in Chelsea's third and final change.

86 minYELLOW CARD! Elneny goes into the book for a cynical challenge on Morata.

86 minSAVE! Another comfortable one for Courtois as Xhaka goes for goal from range but curls a rather tame effort straight at the Chelsea keeper.

84 minCHELSEA SUB: Before the free kick can be taken Chelsea make a surprising change as Hazard is replaced by Tiemoue Bakayoko.

83 minChance for Arsenal to test Courtois here as Sanchez gets across Willian and wins a free kick. It is a long way out, but Sanchez is standing over it.

81 minLess than 10 minutes remaining in this match now - 10 minutes for either side to find a winner. The Premier League clash between these two sides ended goalless back in September, and it looks like this one is heading in a similar direction.

79 minYELLOW CARD! Kante goes into the book for a cynical trip on Welbeck.

77 minImportant challenge from Holding as he slides in to halt Hazard, who had broken free down the left channel.

75 minSAVE! Ospina is called into action again here, but it is another save you would expect him to make. Willian lets fly from range, but Ospina is able to hold it while diving to his left.

74 minJust over 15 minutes remaining of this first leg and we're still goalless. I suspect Arsenal will be tempted to settle for this result as the seconds continue to tick by.

72 minSAVE! Iwobi charges forward through the middle of the park but, having got into a good position, produces the tamest shot you will see. He had carried the ball from inside his own half and then went for the toe-poke, but it trickled into the arms of Courtois.

70 minArsenal may be forced into another change here as Chambers goes down and requires treatment. The defender may try to run it off, but he isn't moving freely at the moment.

68 minCHELSEA SUB: Chelsea make their first change of the evening as Willian comes on for Drinkwater.

67 minCHANCE! The resulting corner sees Ospina come for the ball but get nowhere near it, leaving him in no-man's land as Christensen rises highest to plant a header wide of the target. That is a big chance for the Dane.

66 minCHANCE! Crucial block from Mustafi as a cross from the left goes all the way through to Moses, who unleashes a powerful low drive towards the bottom corner. Mustafi sticks a leg out, though, and somehow manages to divert it over the crossbar.

66 minARSENAL SUB: Here is that change as Alexis Sanchez replaces Lacazette.

64 minArsenal look like they are readying Alexis Sanchez now. Lacazette has not offered much at all tonight so it won't be a surprise to see him come off, and Sanchez certainly has the quality to swing this tie in Arsenal's favour.

62 minMorata turns well and then drives at the Arsenal defence, but a momentary lack of control allows Xhaka to get an important foot on the ball. There has been a lack of quality in the final third so far tonight.

61 minMaitland-Niles floats a cross into the box which Welbeck is close to getting the slightest touch to, but it is just too high and Ospina collects.

60 minJust half an hour remaining in this match and this will be a satisfactory result for Arsenal as things stand. Chelsea do look more dangerous in the second half, but Ospina still hasn't been overly tested tonight.

58 minCHANCE! Chelsea are really starting to knock on the door here! Mustafi tries to win a ball ahead of Morata on the right channel but completely misses it, allowing the Chelsea striker to race through on goal. The angle is against him, but he manages to squeeze his shot under the onrushing Ospina and only just the wrong side of the post.

57 minARSENAL SUB: Wilshere is not going to be able to continue after all and he is replaced by Mohamed Elneny here.

56 minSAVE! Morata turns into space around 25 yards from goal and immediately lets fly, but Ospina dives to his right and makes the save. Once again the keeper parries it into a dangerous area, but again he is not punished for it.

56 minThere is some concerns over Jack Wilshere here, who picked up a knock to his ankle when blocking a Drinkwater cross a few moments ago. He is not moving freely at the moment, but looks like he will try to run it off.

54 minCHANCE! Another chance for Chelsea, this time from a corner they put into the box. Fabregas swings it in and Alonso is a whisker away from getting on the end of it and flicking it home at the near post. It ends up dropping to Morata too, but he cannot bring it under his spell and the ball trickles out for a goal kick.

52 minAlonso lines up the resulting free kick, but his effort slams into the Arsenal wall.

51 minYELLOW CARD! Xhaka picks up the first yellow card of the game for a cynical and late sliding challenge on Rudiger, who was charging out of defence.

51 minFabregas clips a cross into the middle which Morata takes down on his chest before looking to tee up Hazard, but he doesn't put enough on his pass and an Arsenal defender steps in.

49 minChelsea have certainly started this second half on top, and Arsenal will be keen to prevent the hosts from building any momentum in these early stages now.

47 minCHANCE! Chance from another corner for Chelsea as this time Kane swings the ball into the middle and Alonso manages to flick it on to the back post. Christensen is there to meet it, but it is a difficult header and he cannot steer it on target from a tight angle under pressure from Mustafi.

46 minQuicker start to this second half from Chelsea as they win an early corner which causes problems when Fabregas plays it low into the box. It runs all the way through to Kante who let's fly, but his effort only slams into Christensen.

46 minKICKOFF: Chelsea get us back underway for the second half!


Possession: 50%-50%
Shots: 8-4
Shots on target: 3-1
Corners: 4-4
Fouls: 4-6

8.58pmAs for Arsenal, they only had one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes when Alex Iwobi's snapshot was parried away by Courtois following a poor attempted clearance from Rudiger.

Aside from that the best opening for the Gunner fell to Lacazette midway through the half when he beat the offside trap to latch on to Wilshere's through-ball, only to line slice a poor finish high and wide of the target.

8.56pmThe best chance came right on the stroke of half time when Fabregas stole in between two defenders to get his head to a floated cross from Azpilicueta, only to plant his effort straight at Ospina.

Ospina has been the busier of the two keepers so far, though, also being called into action to deny Victor Moses at his near post on a couple of occasions.

8.54pmThe referee brings an end to the first half at Stamford Bridge, and in truth it has been a pretty poor contest so far just a week after their thriller at the Emirates.

We are still goalless between Chelsea and Arsenal and clear chances have been few and far between, with only one you could describe as a really good opening.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

45+1 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.

45 minCHANCE! The clearest chance of the half arrives right at the end of it as Azpilicueta floats one of his trademark crosses from deep into the box. It is Fabregas, rather than Morata, who is on the end of it this time, but he plants his header straight at Courtois.

43 minA lightning turn of space from Hazard as he darts onto Fabregas's flick around the corner and for a moment looks like he could be through on goal, but the ball runs away from him and Ospina gratefully gathers.

42 minArsenal win a free kick in a good crossing position and again Xhaka is over it, but once more the delivery is poor and easy for Courtois to come and collect.

40 minMaitland-Niles went down under the challenge of Moses after that Courtois save and Martin Atkinson checked in with the VAR, but no penalty was given.

39 minCHANCE! Chance for Arsenal after some lovely football inside the Chelsea half. Rudiger's clearance is poor and only goes as far as Iwobi, but his effort is parried away from Courtois.

37 minSHOT! Morata wins a free kick in a good position under the challenge of Mustafi, but instead of going for goal himself Fabregas lays the ball off for Kante. The midfielder is quickly closed down, though, and fires his effort off target.

35 minDouble concerns for Chelsea here as Hazard and Fabregas are left on the floor after painful late challenges. Bellerin's on Fabregas is particularly bad, but it was merely mistimed rather than any malice being involved.

33 minHazard picks the ball up on the left flank before slipping a pass in to Fabregas, who turns smartly but then sees his cross go all the way through. Maitland-Niles puts it behind for a corner, but that only results in Drinkwater producing one of the worst shots I have seen in a long time.

31 minCHANCE! Half a chance at best for Arsenal, but sights of goal have been few and far between that we will count it. Xhaka swings a corner into the middle which Mustafi meets, but his header is never troubling Courtois.

29 minWe have a use of some VAR! Azpilicueta goes down inside his own box after a clear push from Chambers which goes unseen by Martin Atkinson, but is then flagged up by the VAR. No cards, but both players get a talking-to.

28 minSAVE! Ospina is called into action again here, and once more it is Moses to asks the question. Moses escapes the attention of Maitland-Niles to reach the byline and, while his initial low ball into the box is cleared, it comes back out to him and he fires a snapshot towards the near post. Ospina is down well to make the save, although the ball again squirms into a dangerous area before Arsenal clear.

27 minAlonso finds a yard down the left channel and tries to drive a shot/cross towards the back post, but it takes a deflection on its way behind for a corner.

26 minComposed play from Azpilicueta at the back as he keeps hold of the ball and waits for the right pass despite being surrounded by red shirt. It almost backfires, but in the end he is able to launch a Chelsea counter.

24 minSAVE! Chelsea respond with their first sight of goal tonight as Moses cuts inside Maitland-Niles far too easily before drilling a low effort towards the near post from a tight angle. Ospina makes the save but spills the ball, only to recover in time to gather at the second attempt before Fabregas could pounce.

22 minCHANCE! Well, by the standards of this match so far this is a golden chance for Lacazette! Wilshere lifts his pass over the defence and suddenly Lacazette finds himself through on goal. The striker opts to go for it first time on the bouncing ball, but he slices it horribly off target when he should have done better.

21 minXhaka tries to thread a pass through for Welbeck down the left, but Moses has tracked the run well and gets his body between the ball and Welbeck before winning a free kick.

19 minXhaka was always likely to try his luck from that range, but he drags his shot and is fortunate to see it deflect off the wall and behind for a corner.

18 minKante is fortunate to avoid a yellow card here as he dives in from the wrong side of Iwobi, bringing the Arsenal man to ground at the end of a strong run. Free kick to the Gunners around 30 yards from goal...

17 minLacazette tries to wriggle into some shooting space down the left channel, but he runs into Azpilicueta who shepherds the ball back to Courtois.

16 minStill nothing much to report from this one so far - it has certainly started in a much more understated fashion than the thriller a week ago.

14 minBellerin plays a dangerous low ball into the box from the right flank, but Azpilicueta is there to clear the danger before an Arsenal attacker can pounce on the ball.

13 minIt has been pretty even in this opening 15 minutes or so here. Both teams have had decent spells of possession and neither have created a good chance yet. Yet to really get going this one.

11 minAzpilicueta floats a dangerous ball over the defence towards Alonso, who as ever is charging into the box, but Chambers just recovers to flick the ball behind for a corner.

9 minArsenal win the first corner of the night, but it is a poor delivery low along the floor which Fabregas half clears.

7 minDelicious football from Chelsea as Hazard, Fabregas and Moses are all involved, but the ball is then played a little too far in front of Drinkwater and a promising attack breaks down.

5 minHazard has got himself on the ball a couple of times already and, despite not making much of either occasion, he does look sharp in the opening stages here. Ominous signs for the Gunners.

3 minA quiet start to this match as these two sides look to settle into the game following that end-to-end contest a week ago. This may be an entirely different contest tonight as the result after 90 minutes is ultimately not the be all and end all.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go, then! Arsenal get us underway at Stamford Bridge!

7.58pmRight, the players are out on the pitch and we're just about ready to get going here. A quick reminder of the team news before we do start...

CHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Alonso; Hazard, Morata

ARSENAL STARTING XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi, Lacazette, Welbeck

7.56pmBoth legs of this match will use the much-talked-about VAR technology, which got it's bow in English football on Monday and was used to good effect in the FA Cup match between Brighton and Crystal Palace.

Most will be hoping that there is no need for it tonight, but Arsenal have had a couple of contentious penalties given against them in recent weeks - including against Chelsea just seven days ago - so I'm sure Arsene Wenger will welcome the technology despite still being banned from the touchline for his comments regarding one of those penalties.

7.54pmArsenal's only victory against Chelsea in this competition came in a fourth-round match at Highbury in 1976-77, but they have won their last three non-Premier League meetings against the West Londoners, winning two Community Shields and last season's FA Cup final.

That is a major improvement on a record of only one win from their last 13 Premier League meetings - including draws in both this season - while Arsenal have won just one of their last nine visits to Stamford Bridge across all competitions, losing seven of those.

7.52pmThis will be the sixth meeting between these two sides in this competition, and it is a history dominated by Chelsea, who have won four of the previous five League Cup editions of this London derby.

The most recent of those was a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in the fourth round in October 2013 when Azpilicueta and Juan Mata got the goals, and the record also includes a semi-final victory en route to winning the trophy in 1997-98, with the Blues running out 4-3 winners on aggregate then.

7.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at Stamford Bridge, which means that it is time for a prediction!

Wenger hinted at the possibility of more caution from his side in the build-up to this match, but that is really not Arsenal's style and hopefully we will see another open and attacking game tonight, as it was a week ago. Chelsea have the stronger team out and the home advantage, though, so I will have to go for a home win.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal

7.48pmArsenal's travel woes don't get much better in this competition either with only four wins from their last 16 League Cup away games inside normal time, although they have progressed from four more of those via extra time or penalties, which they will not get tonight.

Like Chelsea, all of Arsenal's EFL Cup games so far this season have come at home, and even then they have only managed to scrape past Doncaster, Norwich after extra time and West Ham, each by a one-goal margin.

7.46pmIndeed, Arsenal's away form has been their biggest let-down so far this season, winning just five and losing six of their 15 matches on the road across all competitions. It is not a new thing, though, and since the end of January 2017 Arsenal have lost 12 away games in total, winning just nine and drawing four in that time too.

If only away form counted in the Premier League this season the Gunners would be languishing down in ninth place, with just 13 points from their 11 away outings and only 13 goals too - compared to 26 points and 27 goals from the same number of home games.

7.44pmArsenal were unbeaten in nine games before that loss to Forest on Sunday, although they drew five of those matches and have now only won one of their last five outings across all competitions.

Another defeat tonight would mark successive losses for the first time since August, and fans will not be particularly optimistic considering that they have also only won one of their last five - and two of their last eight - away games across all competitions.

7.42pmDespite such a long barren spell, only Liverpool (17) have reached the semi-finals of the League Cup more often than Arsenal, who are making their 15th appearance at this stage of the competition tonight.

No team has been knocked out in the semi-finals more often, though, with Arsenal losing seven of their previous 14 appearances in the last four and then going on to win just two of the seven finals they have reached.

7.40pmWhile Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have a rich history in the FA Cup, the same cannot be said of this competition, which remains the only major piece of domestic silverware that the Frenchman has not won during his time at the club.

Indeed, Arsenal have won the FA Cup a staggering eight times since they last lifted this trophy in 1992-93, with the Gunners having only reached the final of the competition twice under Wenger, losing in 2007 and 2011.

7.38pmPerhaps the main concern for Arsenal fans is that the FA Cup is usually somewhat immune from their traditional January slump in form, so if they are now losing in that competition then the immediate future may not look too bright for many Arsenal fans.

The 'Wenger Out' brigade have been comparatively quiet so far this season, but they are sure to be in full voice now and reports have even emerged suggesting that former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is being lined up as a replacement at the end of this season.

Arsene Wenger watches on during the Premier League game between Everton and Arsenal on October 22, 2017© SilverHub

7.36pmA draw would be regarded as a decent result for Arsenal to take back to the Emirates tonight, but at the very least they need a response to that humiliating 4-2 defeat at the hands of managerless Championship side Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The Gunners became the first holders to be knocked out by lower league opposition since Swansea beat Portsmouth in 2009, conceded four goals against lower league opposition in the FA Cup for the first time since 1908, and were also eliminated in the third round of the competition for the first time in Arsene Wenger's tenure.

7.34pmHome and away Chelsea come into this match without defeat in their last eight outings, including four clean sheets in their last five, with Arsenal the only team to score against them in that time.

Stretching even further back, Chelsea have now lost only one of their last 16 games across all competitions - including 10 wins - although they have drawn their last two and another stalemate tonight would make it three on the bounce for the first time since January 2013.

7.32pmIn the EFL Cup Chelsea have won their last six outings here at Stamford Bridge stretching all the way back to January 2013, which incidentally was their last defeat in the semi-final when they were beaten by Swansea.

Arsenal are the only team to have come away from Stamford Bridge with a draw in the Premier League this season, incidentally, although Conte's side have also fallen to two league defeats in front their own fans this term.

7.30pmAll three of this season's EFL Cup games so far this season have come here at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea yet to keep a clean sheet in them but scoring nine goals at an average of three per game.

Across all competitions Conte's side are unbeaten in their last 11 home games, winning nine of those and drawing two. Indeed, the Blues have won nine of their last 10 and each of their last four, scoring 10 goals and keeping three clean sheets during the latter run.

7.28pmAntonio Conte only managed to reach the fourth round of this competition in his debut season in English football before being beaten by West Ham in what was their most recent London derby in the EFL Cup before tonight.

There has been a slightly worrying trend in this season's competition in that Chelsea have conceded a goal in the 90th minute of each of their ties so far, although they have also scored twice in the final minutes en route to wins over Nottingham Forest, Everton and Bournemouth.

Antonio Conte celebrates during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Newcastle United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub

7.26pmChelsea have won this competition five times in the past, most recently in 2014-15, and they have a very impressive record at this stage as well, progressing from four of their last five League Cup semi-finals.

The only exception in that run came under Rafael Benitez against Swansea in 2012-13, but just two years later they were victorious in the last four and went on to lift the trophy at Wembley.

7.24pmChelsea are the only other English team aside from Manchester City to still be in the four major competitions this season, although understandably there is no talk of the quadruple considering they are 16 points adrift of Pep Guardiola's side.

Even so, it is difficult to juggle four competitions, particularly considering they had no European football to worry about last season, so it will be interesting to see how they cope with that over the coming weeks.

This one is certainly their most likely to produce silverware having reached the semi-final stage, but it won't come easy with Arsenal and then most likely Man City standing in their way.

7.22pmIt certainly looks as though Chelsea's starting XI is stronger than Arsenal's on paper tonight, then, and the Premier League champions will go into the game as favourites to take a lead into the second leg at the Emirates in a fortnight's time.

The match may not be quite as open an affair as the recent 2-2 draw in the Premier League given that there is still another leg to come after this one, but plenty were predicting a low-scoring encounter a week ago so hopefully these two produce another thrilling spectacle tonight.

7.20pmIt could have been even worse for the Gunners, but Mustafi and Xhaka both passed late fitness tests to start this match and are immediately restored to the starting lineup for tonight's game.

Bellein, who scored the late equaliser between these two sides a week ago, is another big name to return to the side this evening, but behind him Ospina keeps his place ahead of Cech in goal. On the bench, meanwhile, is new signing Mavropanos, who could make his debut for the Gunners tonight.

7.18pmWhile Chelsea have named more or less a first-choice side, Arsenal have probably seven players starting tonight who wouldn't make it into Arsene Wenger's strongest XI, although in fairness to the Frenchman his hands are tied to some extent due to injuries.

Wenger was heavily criticised for his team selection at the weekend and he makes six changes from that team tonight, but there is only so much he can do with Ramsey, Giroud, Monreal, Koscielny and Kolasinac all currently sidelined through injury.

7.16pmAnother player who has been in the news a lot this week is Alex Iwobi, who was reportedly filmed partying until the early hours in the days preceding Arsenal's shock 4-2 FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

Wenger confirmed during his press conference that the midfielder will be fined if the stories turn out to be true, but that doesn't stop him naming Iwobi in his starting lineup for tonight's game in a front three alongside Lacazette and Welbeck.

7.14pmAs for Arsenal, the headline news for them is that Alexis Sanchez only makes it to the bench this evening amid the relentless speculation over his future at the club.

In his pre-match press conference Wenger would not be drawn on whether Sanchez would be involved tonight, and if he does feature then it will have to be from the bench. Man City are understood to be closing in on a deal for the Chilean, so Arsenal fans will wonder whether every time they see him now will be the last they see of him in an Arsenal shirt.

7.12pmWhile Hazard was on top form in this fixture a week ago, the same certainly could not be said of Alvaro Morata, who missed three gilt-edged chances to win the game for Chelsea but fluffed his lines on each occasion when one on one with Cech.

Morata watched on from the bench as Chelsea failed to score with Batshuayi leading the line at the weekend, while Batshuayi also started against Bournemouth in the last round, but the Spaniard does get his chance in this competition tonight.

One more side note is that new signing Ross Barkley misses out as expected, with the former Everton man still working his way back up to match fitness.

7.10pmPerhaps the most notable inclusion for Chelsea is that of Eden Hazard, who has shaken off a minor calf injury to start this match tonight.

The Belgian has terrorised Arsenal at times in the past and was on top form again a week ago, scoring his side's equalising goal from a penalty which he himself won, albeit in controversial circumstances. Conte is unlikely to ben risking Hazard if there were any lingering doubts over his fitness, so expect to see him at full throttle tonight.

Eden Hazard scores from the spot past Petr Cech during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018© Offside

7.08pmCesar Azpilicueta - who scored the last time these two met in this competition in October 2013 - and Andreas Christensen, who is fresh off signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge, come into the defence as captain Gary Cahill drops out entirely and David Luiz is named on the bench, having started in the FA Cup draw with Norwich at the weekend.

Moses and Kante are also amongst the first-team players to come back into the side - both from the FA Cup and the last round of this competition - as Zappacosta and Bakayoko are amongst those to drop out.

7.06pmPlenty to talk about for both teams there!

We'll start with the home side, who have named a very strong starting lineup for tonight's game to leave us in no doubt that they are taking this competition seriously. Indeed, you could go as far as saying that it is the strongest team available to Antonio Conte at the moment.

There are changes galore from the last round - seven in total - and that starts right at the back with Thibaut Courtois, who put in a stunning performance when the two sides met a week ago despite conceding two goals, replacing Caballero in the side.

7.04pmARSENAL SUBS: Macey, Mavropanos, Mertesacker, Nelson, Elneny, Walcott, Sanchez

7.04pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi, Lacazette, Welbeck

7.02pmCHELSEA SUBS: Eduardo, Luiz, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi

7.02pmCHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Alonso; Hazard, Morata

7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's EFL Cup semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge!

Manchester City took one step towards reaching Wembley with a late and narrow victory over Bristol City last night, and now it is time for the pick of the fixtures in the last four as London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal do battle for the second time in the space of a week. If we get even half as much action as last Wednesday's Premier League clash then we will be in for a good game tonight, and whatever happens it promises to be an intriguing contest between two teams who will see this competition as their most realistic chance of silverware this season.

We will have a closer look at both teams a little later, but first let's check out the team news...

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Eden Hazard scores from the spot past Petr Cech during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018
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