The English Premier League is back this weekend where leaders Chelsea host injury-ravaged Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in a box-office Super Sunday clash.
Arsene Wenger celebrated 18 years in charge of Arsenal with a resounding 4-1 UEFA Champions League triumph over Galatasaray in mid week, but now focuses attention to their six point deficit on Chelsea at the Premier League summit.
However, Chelsea after a hard fought win against Sporting Lisbon would be looking to cement their place at the top of the table at home this weekend.
Both, Chelsea and Arsenal enter the round seven as the two remaining unbeaten sides, though, Chelsea have claimed 5 victories in opening six matches while Wenger’s side have been held to a draw on 4 occasions.
Arsenal’s visit to West London is heating up amongst fans of both teams as the ‘Gunners are ready to take revenge from last season’s humiliating 6-0 defeat at bridge’, says Wenger. He also reveals that Nacho Monreal is ready to return to action to ease the injury crisis with Arteta, Ramsey, Giroud, Walcott and Debuchy still in the sidelines. So, let us have a look at 3 key player battles that could very well decide the fate of the London Derby.
DIEGO COSTA vs PER MERTESACKER
I have been eagerly waiting to see Costa take on Mertesacker. With Mourinho confirming the Spaniard to start on sunday, it would be a sight to behold for the Chelsea fans when the fast, furious and quick striker lines up against the lanky defender.
Mertesacker surely isn’t the fastest centre-back in the Premier League and if Costa can work his usual magic on Sunday by regularly getting behind the centre-back and creating opportunities for himself, there probably isn’t much the German could do to stop him.
EDEN HAZARD vs CALUM CHAMBERS
With Matthew Debuchy injured, it will be the 19 year old Calum Chambers who will occupy the right-back position for Arsenal and guess who will be up against? Yes it will be our majestic dribbler Eden Hazard.
After having a decent game against Sporting Lisbon in the mid-week, Hazard will be eager to be back in his usual destructive form when he plays on Stamford Bridge this Sunday and take full advantage of Debuchy’s absence and wreck havoc on the left hand side against the less experienced Chambers.
Arsenal should be extra careful and have back up plans for Hazard after the humiliating defeat last season.
CESAR AZPILICUETA vs ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Alexis Sanchez has been the best player for Arsenal since he joined the club this summer. Deployed on the right wing with more experience, lightning fast pace, brilliant dribbling skills and an urge of scoring could be a reason of concern for the Chelsea’s back line.
With all these qualities Sanchez will face his biggest test since joining the club, when he lines up against Cesar Azpilicueta on the left-back spot. Benched mid-week against sporting Lisbon, Azpilicueta is known as the best one on one defender in the league, and should be in his best of form to stop the Chilean from getting in to scoring positions.
Edited By: Harshal A. Lampardist