Gary Cahill is confident Chelsea will progress in the Carabao Cup despite Arsenal’s recent good record against them.
Arsenal will play Chelsea across two legs in the Carabao Cup semi-final in January. The draw means that the two sides will play each other three times in as many weeks.
Chelsea used to frequently come out on top in these fixtures, but since Antonio Conte has been in charge, things have gone in Arsenal’s favour.
The Gunners defeated Chelsea twice last season and got a draw at Stamford Bridge this campaign. Despite this, Cahill doesn’t feel we’ll have a psychology advantage over them.
“No, not at all. I have had good and bad times against them,” Cahill told the Evening Standard when asked if Arsenal had the advantage.
“They’ve done very well against us lately, especially at Wembley but if I put myself in the Arsenal camp, I don’t think it’s ideal for them to play us over two legs.
“Do the recent results against them give us extra motivation? Yes. Obviously there was the FA Cup Final last season and they got one over us there.
“But if you look at what’s happened over the last 10-15 matches between us, we have had good games too. We have played Arsenal many times and we know what to expect. The first leg is at home and that will be massively important. These are two big teams going at it.
“We know it will be a tough test. You expect to see big teams in the semi-finals of cup competitions, even though clubs change their sides up. You still expect the big teams to have enough to get through and that’s what’s happened with our semi-final.”
In five games between the two sides since Conte took over, Arsenal have won three times, drawn once and lost once. The most notable victory came in last season’s FA Cup final, which Arsenal won 2-1 thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey.
When it comes to the League Cup, though, Chelsea have had the edge. The two sides last met in the competition in 2013 at the Emirates Stadium. On that occasion, the Blues won 2-0 with goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata.
Before then, the two sides faced each other in the 2007 final. A very youthful Arsenal team took an early lead in that games through Theo Walcott, but were pegged back by two goals from Didier Drogba.
Arsene Wenger has never won the League Cup despite reaching two finals. The most infamous of the two was the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in 2011. This season is the first time the club has reached the semi-final since.
Defeating Chelsea over two legs will be a big ask, especially in the middle of a busy fixture list. However, the team can at least take confidence from their recent record against them.