Jose Mourinho has been moaning (there’s a surprise) about tonight’s Capital One Cup fixture, saying the competition favours Arsenal because they played on a Sunday and we played on a Saturday. Yawn.
It’s a tactic designed to take all the pressure off Chelsea and put it on Arsenal. But the fact is that Chelsea are favourites to progress. I don’t necessarily think that Chelsea’s best starting eleven is better than Arsenal’s first choice eleven, but because it is the Capital One Cup then Arsene will do what he always does and play some of the younger players, and rightly so in my opinion.
Also, Chelsea have a formidable squad and their “second team” still contains top players such as Juan Mata, Willian, Demba Ba, Michael Essien, David Luiz, Samuel Eto’o and Kevin De Bruyne. Make no mistake, Mourinho would absolutely love to win this game and will give everything to get a victory over Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger on the other hand, has other priorities. We have Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United in quick succession. Why would he risk injury to our top players with a vital run in like that? And playing Chelsea at home is an experience that the youngsters will relish.
Expect it to be a tight game for about an hour, and then Chelsea’s experience and power will shine through in the end.
I would love nothing more for Arsenal to stage a surprise and shove it in Mourinho’s face, but I just can’t see it happening.
Prediction? 2-1 to Chelsea.