Chelsea prepare to host Arsenal on Wednesday night in their ongoing semifinal for the Carabao Cup. The two teams met at Emirates Stadium last Wednesday and finished with a thrilling 2-2 draw. Both of these teams would need a minor miracle to win the Premier League at this point, so the Carabao Cup is the biggest trophy that either side realistically can hope to take home this season. In last week’s affair, Hector Bellerin buried the tying goal late in the second half, and the second leg of this semifinal promises to bring just as much excitement. Take a look at our soccer betting preview for this London derby.
Arsenal at Chelsea Soccer Betting Preview & Pick
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 9, 2018
When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 3:00pm ET
Where: Stamford Bridge, London
TV: Sky Sports (UK), ESPN3 (US)
Live Stream: Sky Sports (UK), WatchESPN (US)
Soccer Betting Odds: XXXX
Why should you bet on the Gunners?
There is a tension between resting your players for the English Premier League matchups and the desire to win trophies such as the Carabao Cup. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows that the side has done well lately in cup competitions, so he is more likely to put his best lineup out on the field instead of using bench players and leaving his key men fresher for the weekend’s league action.
In the quarterfinals, Arsenal eliminated West Ham United by a 1-0 margin, and Wenger used Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott. It would not be surprising to see Welbeck make it onto the field again, but he might be the only non-regular to make the XI in this match. Wenger understands that Chelsea is a tough team to beat on their home field. It will also be interesting to see what approach Wenger takes offensively. Last week, the Gunners were attacking forward aggressively, but when the two teams met at Stamford Bridge in EPL play earlier in the season, Arsenal sat back and settled for a 0-0 tie. Taking a tie back to Emirates Stadium would be a solid outcome for Arsenal here.
Why should you put your money on the Blues?
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that he will continue to use bench players in the semifinal thanks to their contributions in the quarterfinal victory. However, with the action getting tighter in the semifinal, you might see a shorter leash for the bench players, or at least fewer of them making it into the XI for this one. Chelsea has big finishers of their own, as they showed when Alvaro Morata delivered the winner in stoppage time in the quarterfinal against Bournemouth — just a few seconds after Dan Gosling had delivered the equalizer for the Cherries.
This is almost certain to be a tight match, especially if Arsenal comes out with the clamps on and waits for Chelsea to bring the attack. However, the ferocious record that Chelsea has built at home tilts the betting action in their favor. Their talent up front is slightly better than what Arsenal has, so if one is going to pick one particular side to take advantage of the chances that emerge in the offensive end, one has to like the Blues here as they simply have more finishers.
Expert Soccer Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction
As the teams finish the first leg of their semifinals, you can expect intensity from both sides. These are both teams that have a shot to finish in the top four slots in the EPL table, so this is definitely a matchup between established sides. With the pressure it will be interesting to see which side breaks first, but the smart money goes on the home side here. I predict a final score of Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1.