The Capital One Cup fourth round draw has pitted the Premier League’s current top two together, but judging by the probable line-ups at the Emirates, there looks every chance that Chelsea can snuff out one of Arsenal’s best routes towards silverware.
Arsenal may have evolved into a force more fearsome than they’ve been for some years, but scratch below the surface and their squad is still a shade or two lighter than one which can challenge on all fronts.
Injuries are playing their part, particularly in the wide areas for Wenger’s Gunners, though when you look at the differing sets of personnel available to the opposing managers for this League Cup encounter, Chelsea’s 13/8 to win it in 90 minutes, over Arsenal’s same odds, definitely gets the vote.
Perhaps a hair-based analogy suits this game best. Where Mourinho’s ability to pick a second string packed full of international starters is akin to a full, healthy head of glossy hair, Wenger will be forced into giving it the old comb-over, just to cover the bald spots.
Where Mourinho will almost certainly call upon the likes of Juan Mata, Willian, Kevin De Bruyne and probably Demba Ba in attack – with Liverpool to come in the Premier League next up – Wenger may well go with something like Tomas Rosicky, Ryo Miyachi, Serge Gnabry and Nicklas Bendtner.
From front to back, the roll call of stars who have not been getting regular starts for the Blues could easily make up a top-six Premier League side, whereas Arsenal’s will probably contain a few teenagers.
Amazingly, Wenger has never beaten his opposing number in eight previous games in all competitions and based on the strength of the squads here, this is set to continue.
The last three cup games contested between the two have finished in 2-1 victories for Chelsea and at 8/1 that scoreline holds significant appeal again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.