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Capital One Cup


After a short gap between games and a short journey across London, Chelsea play our second domestic cup tie of the season. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton turn their attention quickly from league to League Cup…

You have to go back to the 1980s for the kind of away support Chelsea will have at Emirates Stadium tonight. There will be 9,000 Blues in north London for this Capital One Cup tie, the kind of numbers that regularly swelled the old Clock End (and elsewhere) at Highbury in the halcyon days of Osgood, Dixon and co. It is possibly our largest away contingent in this competition outside a final or semi since the one that watched Chelsea beat Spurs 3-0 at White Hart Lane in January 1991.

With the problematic scheduling of this game - so soon after Chelsea's epic clash with title rivals Manchester City - the fan culture flashback will be as important to some as the match itself. As we pointed out in the Swindon Town Pre-Match Briefing, the Football League made a big fuss when the Blues fielded a 'weakened side' against the Robins - 50 years ago. The organisers can have no grounds for complaint this time.

It would be too risky fielding the same players twice in 50 hours and Jose Mourinho initially considered fielding a youth team. Instead, Chelsea's travelling fans can expect to see a squad comprising players who have appeared less regularly so far this season, but one bristling with quality and potential nonetheless. The hosts should also be commended for their sensible pricing policy.

Arsene Wenger has always treated this tournament as a chance to blood youngsters and did so in the previous round match at West Bromwich Albion. Will it be trick or treat for his kids tonight?

Jose Mourinho is celebrating his 200th game in charge of Chelsea tonight.

Mourinho is only the eighth Chelsea manager to have reached the double century milestone and his win percentage far outstrips any rival.

Manager Games Win %
David Calderhead 966 39.8
Ted Drake 426 36.6
Dave Sexton 371 44.2
Tommy Docherty 303 46.8
Billy Birrell 293 33.1
Leslie Knighton 269 34.2
John Neal 203 41.3
Jose Mourinho 199 66.8
Claudio Ranieri 199 53.7

He has faced Wenger's Arsenal on eight occasions in the league, League Cup and Community Shield. Four ended in Chelsea wins, four were drawn. He now seeks a victory that would keep the cleaners out of the Emirates' trophy cupboard until May at the earliest.

The two adversaries are the only previous winners of the Premier League still currently managing in England's top flight. There is little that can be extracted from tonight's game and applied to the race for the title however.

The last home side to beat Chelsea in this competition in normal time were Aston Villa, way back in December 2003; John Terry and Frank Lampard both featured. The Blues were London's first winners of this competition in 1964/65, and have raised it again three times since. Arsenal have won it twice.


The two rivals presently sit first and second in the Premier League. The Blues have endured a tougher league schedule to date than our north London rivals - the average position of Chelsea's opponents has been 10th, compared to the Gunners' 15th. The toughest sides Arsenal have faced have been Spurs - a derby where form amounts to little more than a c.v. - and Dortmund, which did not go well.

Tonight's fourth-round tie might be considered a wonderful sideshow to the main domestic business. However, if Wenger aims to avoid the constant jibes about his trophy-less years this could be his easiest route to silverware.

He was appointed manager at Highbury on 30 September 1996 (6,238 days ago). His last trophy won was the FA Cup, 3,083 days ago on 21 May 2005.

After tonight the league leaders face Liverpool at home, then successive away trips to Dortmund (in the Champions League) and Old Trafford before hosting Southampton.

Chelsea travel to Newcastle on Saturday then host Schalke and West Bromwich Albion before a trip to West Ham.

Our last and next Champions League opponents Schalke lost again at home at the weekend, to high-flying Dortmund (the Ruhr derby). Jens Keller fielded a similar side to the one we took apart a week ago in the Veltins Arena. Teenager Max Meyer scored for the hosts but Dortmund won 3-1 - one better than their result in north London this time last week.

Of Group E's other sides, Basel drew 0-0 at Zürich and Steaua Buchurest won 2-1 at struggling Braşov.

Who would you like to see start for Chelsea this evening? #CFCPMB


Arsenal's shoot-out at West Brom in the last round was the 17th in their history. Only Brentford (22), Chelsea (19) and Bournemouth (18) have contested more.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.

Capital One Cup fourth round fixtures
Arsenal v Chelsea 7.45pm - Sky Sports
Birmingham v Stoke 7.45pm
Burnley v West Ham 7.45pm
Leicester v Fulham 7.45pm
Manchester United v Norwich 7.45pm
Newcastle v Manchester City 7.45pm - Sky Sports
Tottenham v Hull 7.45pm
Wednesday 6 November
Sunderland v Southampton 7.45pm

- Click on tabs above for more briefing

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Tactical pointers are few and far between when the two sides are likely to be composed of footballers who have barely played together. While Jose Mourinho appears to have changed from his 'it will be a good night for the kids' comment there will almost certainly be no one on the pitch tonight who started in the crucial win against City.

In the previous round Arsenal drew 1-1 at West Brom but went through 4-3 on penalties, Serge Gnabry the only Gunner to miss from the spot. There were replacements for Wenger's regular Premier League line-up in virtually every position, with defenders Per Mertesacker and Carl Jenkinson, plus experienced midfielder Mikel Arteta, the only players regularly involved in the first team.

Should Arsene Wenger stick to his policy in the competition his team should feature the likes of Lukasz Fabianski, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerín, Isaac Hayden, Kristoffer Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld, Chuba Akpom, Ryo Miyaichi and Nicklas Bendtner (pictured below). Bendtner has faced Chelsea eight times previously, scoring once in six defeats and two wins.


Mathieu Flamini is absent with a groin injury. Like the suspended Mikel Arteta he was unlikely to figure anyway - they are Arsenal's favoured centre midfield pairing.

Winger Gnabry played for an hour on Saturday at Crystal Palace, replaced by Jack Wilshere (who may be called on this evening) and picked up an ankle knock. The German-Ivorian can be a little naive in his passing and tackling but is a very tricky customer going forward, with his first thought generally to take on an opponent. Left-back Monreal came on as a sub at Selhurst and played in midfield to bolster the left side. Tomas Rosicky was an unused sub.

With over a day longer recovery time than the visitors tonight, Arsenal may field some of those who won 2-0 on Saturday lunchtime.

The average age of the Chelsea outfield squad that won 2-0 at Swindon was 25. The Blues' likely goalie tonight, Mark Schwarzer, 41, bumps that up considerably. Since starting in that win Marco van Ginkel has been ruled out till March.

The highest appearance-maker in this competition from the current squad, Frank Lampard (33 appearances, 11 goals), will almost certainly be rested after his hectic recent schedule.

There are several players who will hope to lay out their case for more minutes, not least John Mikel Obi, David Luiz, Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Demba Ba, Michael Essien, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ryan Bertrand.

Eighteen-year-old playmaker Lewis Baker was on the bench at the County Ground, a reward for the England Under-19 international's consistent performances this season.

Other youngsters would love to be involved in some way this evening. Tomas Kalas is fit again after his fibula fracture, while fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek have impressed at younger levels in the last few months.


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Chelsea have played more competitive games against Arsenal than any other team. Tonight is our 180th meeting. We have won the last three League Cup encounters with an aggregate of 11 goals to four.

In 1998 the two legs straddled league games including another visit to Highbury. Both trips to north London ended in defeat and after the league setback, Arsenal followers sent west London fans away with chorus after chorus of 'Let's all laugh at Chelsea!'

The jibe was in part for the loss of manager Ruud Gullit's lustre - Chelsea fans were so proud of Gullit's presence at the Bridge and his trophy-winning achievements. Soon after the echoes of those cruel chants subsided the Dutchman departed and Gianluca Vialli stepped up as player-manger.

Vialli's first task was to overturn the 1-2 League Cup deficit and before he kick-off he had the players toast a new era with a little champagne. Thus fortified the Blues blew Patrick Vieira and co away 3-1 to reach the 1997/98 final, which was won 2-0 against Middlesbrough.

The Italian got the better of Arsene Wenger again later the same year, in October, when two weakened side met again at Highbury. Chelsea's proved the deeper resources, with Frank Leboeuf opening the scoring from a penalty 10 minutes before half-time. The stadium, so often a graveyard in the 1990s, was then the stage for Vialli and Uruguayan midfielder Gustavo Poyet to produce a thrilling 5-0 rout.

Vialli and Poyet

Completing the trio of victories in this competition, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea won the final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in February 2007 despite falling behind to an early Theo Walcott goal. Didier Drogba, who always fancies his chances against the Gunners, put the Blues level and then scored the winner with 15 minutes to go.

Injury time - already vast as a result of John Terry being knocked out - was extended by a fracas in which Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure and, for Chelsea, John Mikel Obi were sent off, and Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas were booked.

There was no risk of Arsenal coming back and the trophy went back to west London.

This is our fifth League Cup tie against the Gunners. Chelsea have won three of the last four including that 2007 final.

Previous League Cup meetings
Fourth round 26 October 1976, Highbury
Arsenal...…………….2 Chelsea……………...1
Ross 52                          Hay 58
Stapleton 59
                   Att: 52,305

Semi-final, first leg 28 January 1998, Highbury
Arsenal...…………….2 Chelsea……………...1
Overmars 23                  M Hughes 68
S Hughes 47
                  Att: 38,114


Semi-final, second leg 18 February 1998, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea.....…………….3 Arsenal……………...1
M Hughes 10                     Bergkamp 82 pen
Di Matteo 51
Petrescu 53
                   Att: 34,330

Fourth round 11 November 1998, Highbury
Arsenal...…………….0 Chelsea……………...5
Leboeuf 34 pen
Vialli 49, 73
Poyet 65, 80
                     Att: 37,562

Final 25 February 2007, Millennium Stadium
Arsenal...…………….1 Chelsea……………...2
Walcott 12                       Drogba 20, 84
                    Att: 70,073

Other domestic cup meetings
Our record in the FA Cup is five wins, six draws and eight defeats.

Our away record at Arsenal is:

1929/30 (3) Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0
1946/47 (3 rep) Arsenal 1 Chelsea 1
1972/73 (QF rep) Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
2000/01 (5) Arsenal 3 Chelsea 1
2002/03 (QF) Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2
2003/04 (5) Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1

Champions League:

2003/04 (QF1) Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
(QF2) Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2


Arsenal v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 179
Chelsea wins 56
Arsenal wins 71
Draws 52

Biggest win at Arsenal for each team
Arsenal 5-2 Chelsea - 16/04/1979 - old Division One
Arsenal 0-5 Chelsea - 11/11/1998 - League Cup

Chelsea lost an away League Cup tie in open play: 3,604
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,083
Liverpool won the league: 8,578


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Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007
Runners-up: 1972, 2008
Semi-finalists: 1973, 1985, 1991, 2002, 2013

Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final
2012/13 - Semi-final

Chelsea's last away defeat in open play in the League Cup was in the quarter-final against Aston Villa in 2003. In the 2009 quarter-final, after drawing 3-3 at Blackburn after extra time, we went on to lose 4-3 on penalties.

Kerry Dixon is our leading scorer in the League Cup with 25 goals followed by Frank Lampard 11, Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling 10 and Didier Drogba nine.

Last season the Blues went out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage, to Swansea 0-2 on aggregate.

Chelsea have won three of our last six penalty shoot-outs. Our last two have been against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final and this season's Super Cup.

The Blues beat Swindon 2-0 away in the third round.

Last six results
Sat 28 Tottenham (a) D 1-1
Oct 1 Steaua Bucharest (Champions League a) W 4-0
Oct 6 Norwich (a) W 3-1
Oct 19 Cardiff (h) W 4-1
Oct 22 Schalke (Champions League a) W 3-0
Oct 27 Manchester City (h) W 2-1

Capital One Cup scorers (2)
Ramires 1, Torres 1

League Cup games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 1
An away defeat in open play: 14

Chelsea's next three games
Sat 2 Nov Newcastle away 12.45pm
Wed 6 Nov Schalke (Champions League) home 7.45pm
Sat 9 Nov West Brom home 3pm


Arsenal in the League Cup
Winners: 1987, 1993
Runners-up: 1968, 1969, 1988, 2007, 2011
Semi-finalists: 1978, 1983, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008

Arsenal knocked out West Brom in an away tie in the last round, winning 4-3 on penalties with the game finishing 1-1 after extra time.

Capital One Cup scorer (1)
Eisfeld 1

Arsenal have one of the better recent records in the League Cup, having reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the last 10 seasons.

Arsenal's two defeats this season have both come at the Emirates; on the opening day against Aston Villa and last week against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Since 2005, Arsenal have won five of their six penalty shoot-outs. Their only loss was against Bradford in last season's Capital One Cup quarter-final.

Last season Arsenal were involved in the highest scoring game in the competition when they beat Reading 7-5 at the Madejski Stadium.

Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
Season  Round reached Defeated by
2003/04 semi-final Middlesbrough
2004/05 quarter-final Man Utd
2005/06 semi-final Wigan
2006/07 final Chelsea
2007/08 semi-final Tottenham
2008/09 quarter-final Burnley
2009/10 quarter-final Man City
2010/11 final Birmingham
2011/12 quarter-final Man City
2012/13 quarter-final Bradford City

Manager Arsene Wenger
Days in charge: 6,238
Played: 968
Won: 553
Drawn: 230
Lost: 195



Last six results
Sep 28 Swansea (a) W 2-1
Oct 1 Napoli (Champions League h) W 2-0
Oct 6 West Brom (a) D 1-1
Oct 19 Norwich (h) W 4-1
Oct 22 Borussia Dortmund (Champions League h) L 1-2
Oct 26 Crystal Palace (a) W 2-0

League Cup games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 10
A home defeat: 1

Phil Dowd is refereeing both clubs for the first time this season. His last Chelsea game was our 1-0 FA Cup win against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.

Mikel Arteta is suspended following his red card at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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