Arsenal visits Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the sixth match of the Premier
League season and this appears to be a crucial tie, given the situation at the Blue part of London.
TEAMS NEWS, INJURY UPDATES, AND SUSPENSIONS
Asmir Begovic will continue as the goalkeeper as Thibaut Courtois remains out after a knee surgery. Pedro suffered a knock ahead of the Champions League match, and will miss the tie against Arsenal. Willian injured his hamstring while playing against Maccabi Tel Aviv, and is out. Falcao, who suffered a knock in training, is expected to be fit for the Arsenal tie.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave a man of the match performance against Maccabi, but will lose his place to Matic in all probability. Baba Rahman showed glimpses of his potential, and might be considered for a start, considering Ivanovic’s poor form of late. Young Brazilian Kenedy might start on the right since both Willian and Pedro are out. Costa will come in place of Remy.
Arsenal have no new injury issues. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, and Danny Welbeck continue to remain long-term, absentees.
Chelsea have been enduring a very rough start to the Premier League season. With only one win and four points from the first five matches of the season, Chelsea needs to turn the corner and fast. Their midweek European tie, where Chelsea scored four unanswered goals, will give them a confidence boost.
Of course, facing Arsenal in the league is a very different prospect from facing the Israeli champions, but players like Fabregas and Costa will have garnered a lot of confidence from their assists and goals. Especially Fabregas, who faced a lot of flak for his recent drab performances, will be eager to carry on from where he left against Maccabi.
Arsenal endured a harrowing night in Croatia, losing 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb, with striker Olivier Giroud seeing red. Arsene Wenger and his men will be eager to get back on track, and a victory at Stamford Bridge will serve the purpose nicely. Arsenal have not got a good record at the Bridge, but will know that this is a great opportunity to make things better, with the champions looking tremendously out of form.
KEY PLAYER BATTLES
Azpilicueta vs. Sanchez
Sanchez is always a handful for any defender with his pace and skill, and it will be up to Azpilicueta to keep him from creating trouble.
Matic vs. Cazorla
Cazorla is Arsenal’s main creative hub, and Matic needs to counter the skillful midfielder and gain authority in central midfield.
This will be the first time goalkeeper Petr Cech will start at Stamford Bridge as a non-Chelsea player. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League matches against Arsenal.
LAST 5 MEETINGS
Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea 02/08/2015
Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea 26/04/2015
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal 05/10/2014
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal 22/03/2014
Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea 23/12/2013
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUPS
Chelsea: Begovic (GK), Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Baba Rahman, Matic, Fabregas, Kenedy, Oscar, Hazard, Costa
Arsenal: Cech (GK), Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud
Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal
Time: 1245 GMT / 1715 IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Mike Dean
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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