Wednesday 24th January 2018

Event of the Day

Our event of the day is the return leg of the EFL Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London. The first leg of the tie, played at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, ended in a goalless draw that left both sides with a good chance to progress to the Wembley final today, Arsenal with a slight advantage as they play at home. Arsenal were winless in all competitions for five matches before recording a convincing 4-1 home triumph over Crystal Palace on Saturday, scoring all four goals in the first 22 minutes. Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 games - last Wednesday they reached the FA Cup 4thround after a dramatic home win on penalties in a replay against Norwich City, while on Saturday they won all three points in the league after a visit to Brighton (4-0). The London rivals drew both of their Premier League matches this season – it was 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in September and 2-2 at the Emirates at the beginning of January.
The Gunners’ latest signing, offensive midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan who arrived in a swap deal with Manchester United for Alexis Sánchez, is cup-tied and ineligible to play tonight. The home side will also be without Olivier Giroud who misses out due to a hamstring injury, but midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Nacho Monreal might take part, having both trained on Tuesday. Former Arsenal player Cesc Fàbregas along with striker Álvaro Morata, are set to miss the clash for Chelsea with hamstring and back injuries respectively, whilst goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Andreas Christensen should both be available to manager Antonio Conte after recent absences. It promises to be a highly entertaining matchup at the Emirates tonight.
 
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the opening day of the 3rd Test of the Freedom Trophy between South Africa and India at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The hosts won the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion, and now have the opportunity to complete the series whitewash over the number one ranking nation. In the Big Bash League, the Sydney Thunder play the Melbourne Renegades at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. It’s Day 9 of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. In the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Moda Center in Portland, while the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The NHL brings the duel of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago’s United Center. In the Copa del Rey quarterfinal second leg, Real Madrid face Leganes at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.
 
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
 
Fixture
 
Photos by Chelsea; Arsenal

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