Chelsea and Arsenal face each other on Sunday at a much anticipated London derby. Both the teams are riding high after their respective Champions League wins. Arsenal will be looking to avenge their 6-0 defeat last season in this fixture, while Chelsea will be looking to gain maximum points at home. Let us take a look at the expected starting line-up.
GOALKEEPER: Thibaut Courtois
Yet another clean sheet in Lisbon against Sporting in the Champions League group stage match and Courtois sees his stock rising.
He has been in good form from the start of the season and hasn’t committed any errors as of yet. Will surely be starting on Sunday as he continues to keep Petr Cech out of the first team.
DEFENDERS: Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic is one of the most experienced players in the team. He has a knack of scoring crucial goals in these big matches and his consistent form in the right back position is a reason why Azpilicueta has to ply his trade in the left flank.
His tenacity going forward and his aerial abilities is what makes him an asset and will be starting against Arsene Wenger’s men.
DEFENDERS: Gary Cahill
Part of the permanent central defence partnership with John Terry, Cahill will be again start against Arsenal, after yet another calm and solid performance at the back against Sporting.
And with his level of fitness, it is hard to not see him starting all the matches this season.
DEFENDERS: John Terry
The captain led his team to another win and his defensive army to a very important clean sheet at Lisbon. His experience of playing big matches and his ability to read the game is paramount to Chelsea and Mourinho and will be hoping to keep red hot Danny Welbeck under control.
Neutrals will be hoping for a good physical battle between those two.
DEFENDERS: Cesar Azpilicueta
Having agreed to a new contract extension earlier this week, he was rested in the Champions League match against Sporting.
Jose Mourinho will need every bit of his endless energy in order to cope with the pace of Danny welbeck and the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez, considering both like to switch wings.
HOLDING MIDFIELDERS: Nemanja Matic
Having scored the only goal against Sporting on Tuesday, Matic will be feeling confident although his main job will be to contain the likes of Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere.
He has had almost no bad moment yet this season and his physical presence in the middle of the park is a huge asset for Chelsea. He is good at screening the defence while Fabregas goes forward and will be important on Sunday.
HOLDING MIDFIELDERS: Cesc Fabregas
A huge day it will be for this man as Fabregas faces the club he joined at 16. It will be emotional for him to face the side where he excelled as a young midfileder, however the form he is in, there is absolutely no way Mourinho will leave him out of the starting line-up.
He has been so good that Jose Mourinho himself claimed that he “couldn’t be happier” with Fabregas. Chelsea will hope that he is at his usual best in the derby and weave his way through to assist Costa.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS: Eden Hazard
Hazard put on another good showing against Sporting and is too good a player to leave out in any match, let alone a derby. Considering he will be starting on the left flank like he usually does, he may have a good outing against young Arsenal right back Callum Chambers.
He continues to be a crucial cog as he plays a part in most of the Chelsea goals. Will be important on Sunday.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS: Oscar
While he did not draw standing ovations from the crowd at Lisbon, Oscar is in good scoring touch with 2 goals in his last 3 matches. Although missed an easy chance on Tuesday, he worked hard and will most probably have earned his place in the team for the London derby.
With the high pressing game Chelsea have been playing recently, Oscar will need to attack the likes of Flamini and Cazorla.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS: Andre Schurrle
Andre Schurrle was fantastic in this fixture last season, scoring one, assisting another and running his feet off in the 6-0 thrashing.
Arsene Wenger will be wary of Schurrle’s threats from last season’s experience while Jose Mourinho will be looking to unleash his Germaan winger once again.
STRIKER: Diego Costa
While Mourinho had said last week that Costa is not really fit to play three games a week yet, with his niggling hamstring injury, back to back important fixtures has forced Mourinho to play him in all matches this week. Costa played against both Aston Villa on Saturday and Sporting on Tuesday.
And now Mourinho has announced in his press conference that he will be starting against Arsenal on Sunday. Costa missed atleast 3 easy chances against Sporting and will be looking to remind everyone of his abilities. With an overly impressive tally of 8 goals in 6 league matches, Costa will be looking to score in his first London derby.