Swansea vs Chelsea (Carling Cup Semi-Final) and Arsenal vs West Ham (EPL): Open Thread
Two big matches on this evening — both for completely different reasons.
Arsenal plays West Ham United in the rescheduled game that was originally scheduled for Boxing Day. As manager Arsene Wenger said earlier this week, it’s imperative that Arsenal doesn’t drop any points after their losses against Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as their draw against Southampton recently. The Hammers, meanwhile, will want to pick up a point or more to move away from the very tight bottom half of the table.
In South Wales, the snow has been bucketing down earlier today, but the pitch at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium looks in very good condition (pictured above). Expect snow to be falling down during the match, but there shouldn’t be any flurries.
As far as team news, manager Michael Laudrup has a full-strength team available to choose from after resting several key players in recent games against Arsenal and Stoke City, while Demba Ba starts for Chelsea instead of Fernando Torres. John Terry is on the bench.
Chelsea team: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cesar, Cole, Ramires, Lampard (c), Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Demba Ba.
Swansea team: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams (c), Chico, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Ki, Routledge, Hernandez, Michu.
Swansea won the first leg of the League Cup semi-final 2-0 at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago. The away goal rule does not go into effect until at the end of extra time.
If you live in the United States, beIN SPORT will make the game available for live-streaming.
Here’s the link to watch the game live, free online: http://beinsportlivestreaming.overon.es/
Wherever you live, join in on the conversation with football supporters from around the world by commenting below before, during or after the match.