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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger bullish ahead of Chelsea Carabao Cup clash: ‘We feel strong at home’

PUBLISHED: 16:13 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:26 23 January 2018

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been talking about Chelsea. Mike Egerton/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been talking about Chelsea. Mike Egerton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Layth Yousif was at London Colney on Tuesday morning to hear what Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had to say about playing London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday – with a chance of silverware at stake for the winner.

Arsenal are set to host Antonio Conte’s West Londoners in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final in arguably the biggest match of the season, with the winner reaching Wembley in the only competition Arsene Wenger has yet to win.

Read on for what the long-serving Frenchman had to say ahead of the eagerly-anticipated clash.

Wenger on importance of the Chelsea game

It’s an important game and we want to go to the final. We have an opportunity to do it at home against Chelsea. I think the two teams know each other very well. The first leg was very blocked, the second leg will certainly be more open, because at some stage, the teams will have to open up to try to win the game. It should be much more spectacular than the first one.

On knowing how to play Chelsea after playing them six times in just 11 months ahead of a seventh clash on Wednesday

You’re always cautious to say that because I think the two teams are very close to each other every time they meet and the form of the day can be a decider. The strength of the motivation on the day can be a decider as well. It has always been very tight, they are two good teams, who know each other very well now, so it’s very difficult, it’s very unpredictable.

Are Arsenal favourites against Chelsea?

Honestly, I don’t see any favourite in that tie. If you look, as we just spoke about, in the last seven games it’s always very tight, so what you could say is that what comes out is no real favourite, but we are at home and we feel strong at home and so we want to take advantage of it.

On using academy graduates in the side

Don’t forget [Alex] Iwobi, [Hector] Bellerin, we are the only team who plays with four to five players in the starting line up with players who came out of the club.

If you look at the instability now in the Premier League, it doesn’t encourage managers to take gambles with young players and when they make their team on Friday night they will go more for security and security is experience, than to give a chance to young players.

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