Chelsea will make a short trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday. Even though it sounds very dramatic, the game is not going to have too much bearing on the Premier League title race. The result will only determine how soon the Blues are going to be crowned Champions of England.
If we can beat the Gunners, a victory against Leicester City on Wednesday will seal the title for the Blues. Sealing the deal with games to spare will be a dream scenario, of course, but it is easier said than done. Arsenal are the most in-form team in the league at the moment, and come into this game on the back of an eight-match winning streak. Last Saturday, they were given a run for their money by Reading in the FA Cup semi-final, but still managed to emerge victoriously.
Arsene Wenger, of course, has a dismal record against the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho, failing to win even one of the 12 meetings against the Portuguese tactician. Arsenal have also failed to score against Chelsea since Mourinho’s return to London in 2013, a run that includes our unforgettable 6-0 thumping at Stamford Bridge last season. The reverse fixture in West London this season, ended 2-0 in our favour, with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the scoresheet.
Chelsea Team News
There is some good news with regards to our strikers, as Mourinho has stated in his press conference today that Didier Drogba is fit to play while Diego Costa is also in line for a return. The former has started and completed the last two league games, in the absence of Costa and Loic Remy. But the Ivorian picked up an ankle injury earlier on in the week and was said to be doubtful for the trip to the Emirates. Drogba has an incredible scoring record against the Gunners, netting 15 goals in 15 games, with Chelsea and Galatasaray.
Mourinho has also said that Dominic Solanke is ready to be called upon if needed. The 17-year-old did not play for the U-21’s yesterday and should be fresh for the trip north. Remy has still not fully recovered from his calf injury and is still a doubt. Costa, who has been out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring problem, may feature. Mourinho has confirmed that if he doesn’t play against Arsenal, he surely will against Leicester City.
The back 5 has been a constant for a while now, and with Ivanovic and Cahill improving every week, there is no need for change. We expect Chelsea to flood the midfield in this game and have therefore predicted starts for all of Nemanja Matic, Kurt Zouma, and Ramires. Oscar and Willian will be on the bench, and Fabregas will play in a more forward role, looking to make an impact against his former club. Our biggest threat, of course, will once again be Eden Hazard.
Our predicted starting line-up against Arsenal:
Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (C), Azpilicueta, Matic, Zouma, Ramires, Fabregas, Hazard, Drogba.
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Edited By: Vikram