Since 1989, four teams: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, have won the Cup in 24 years out of 29. "It was a cause of anxiety as it took a bit of time to make the second decision with Welbeck and Fabregas, but overall it worked well". David Luiz started the season as the incumbent in the middle and Cesar Azpilicueta's extraordinary dependability has meant that Rudiger has often found himself vying with club captain Gary Cahill for the third centre-back spot. Undoubtedly, this will make Arsenal turn in the other direction and listen to the Red Devils. Tactical reasons? What could those possibly be?
Tuesday morning saw numerous news reports emerging of a possible Man City bid of £30m to bring the Chilean striker to the Etihad. There was a smile at a couple of journalists, but this was a League Cup semi-final, and Wenger had his game face on. But if prize money was hiked significantly, this could lead to a rethink.
"The best way to replace him is getting Ramsey and Ozil back", Wenger said. But the first scan on Wilshere's ankle was positive and now he has a chance to play this weekend. His nous possibly more valued in a hostile environment than the physical talents offered by his teammate. Although Pavón has a €37 million release clause so he would be the cheaper of the two players. The game was a slow burner and didn't create any real chances of note, as Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette both fluffed half chances in a reenactment of last week's fruitless struggle to put the ball in the back of the net. Does he show loyalty to Cahill's old head, one that effectively led Chelsea to the Premier League title last season as John Terry became all too familiar with the substitutes' bench?
"If I think he can help the team to win, then that is nothing to do with the fact he can be punished separately, individually". Cheltenham though most definitely is. Also in the mix is former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta.
The Road to Russia: Belgium.
With just five months to go before the start of the World Cup, here's the first of our regular profiles on the leading contenders. Chelsea were the more resolute team throughout the game.
"It has gone very well in the first few games", Riley told BBC Radio 5 Live.
If Sanchez is sold, Arsenal will be in the market for a new forward themselves.
Wenger can be assured that Ospina is a reliable replacement should Cech become unavailable further down the line.
There was still no breakthrough as the game entered the final 15 minutes.
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