Arsenal face Chelsea in the Capital One Cup at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
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LEAGUE CUP RECORDS
KEY BATTLE - ROSICKY v MIKEL
One of the consequences of Mesut Ozil's arrival at the Club has been the shifting of Arsenal's other No 10s out to the flanks. Santi Cazorla has mainly been stationed on the left since his return from injury, while Tomas Rosicky has been used on both sides in recent months (left against Borussia Dortmund and right against Napoli in the Champions League alone).
However, Rosicky is expected to return to his favoured position behind the central striker against Chelsea on Tuesday. It is here that his change of pace and energy could prove most useful, and where he is at his most effective. Rosicky's last game in the No 10 role was against Tottenham at the start of September, where he flourished and won 71.4 per cent of his duels - more than any other attacker on the pitch.
Chelsea's anchor man is likely to be John Obi Mikel, who will be expected to track Rosicky and deny him the space in which he can add to the eight chances he has created for his team-mates this season. Mikel has been used sparingly by Jose Mourinho this term, but will provide a muscular presence at the base of the midfield. The Nigeria international has won 51.3 per cent of his duels (0.1 per cent less than Rosicky) but has made an impressive 24 recoveries this term.
Rosicky's task is to burst into the space in between the Chelsea midfield and defence and escape the clutches of the tigerish Mikel. Should the Czech international succeed, it could have a major bearing on the outcome of this tie.
ARSENAL v CHELSEA - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal are currently without a clean sheet in 10 games in the League Cup
- Chelsea have won their last three games against Arsenal in the League Cup
- The Blues have lost only once (excluding penalty shoot-outs) in their last 17 League Cup games away from Stamford Bridge (W13 D3)
- The Gunners have won their last 11 fourth-round games in the competition
- Arsenal have scored 15 goals in their last four Capital One Cup games
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