Chelsea team news: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Arsenal

The Blues face a tough test early in the season as they take on their London rivals in Saturday evening’s match at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea face Arsenal on Saturday in what will be Maurizio Sarri’s first competitive home game in charge of the Blues.

The club’s new manager will be hoping to follow up his side’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield by beating the Gunners, who suffered a defeat to Manchester City in their Premier League opener.

Unai Emery is also new to English football but he has already faced Sarri in a pre-season match in Dublin, with north Londoners eventually winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Chelsea Injuries
Chelsea have only one injury concern and that is Cesc Fabregas, who is a major doubt after suffering a knee injury against Arsenal in pre-season.

He is unlikely to face his former club after struggling through the 2-0 Community Shield defeat to Man City, while he also missed the Blues’ Premier League opener.

Tiemoue Bakayoko has left Chelsea to join AC Milan on loan, with a €35 million (£31m/$40m) option to buy available for the Italian giants.

Mateo Kovacic was left out of last week’s matchday squad after only signing three days before the away trip to Huddersfield, but Kepa Arrizabalaga played after his £71 million ($91m) move from Athletic Club.

PSV loan star Marco van Ginkel is back at Chelsea, but he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play any part this season.

Chelsea Suspensions
Chelsea have no suspensions to contend with after none were carried over from last season, while no players were sent off in the win over Huddersfield.

Chelsea Potential Starting Line-Up
Chelsea will play in a 4-3-3 system as Sarri continues to implement his style of football on the the Blues squad. The new boss has been consistent in his team selections, even through pre-season, so there aren’t likely to be many changes from the team that won last weekend.

Eden Hazard could, however, be brought back into the starting XI, having only come off the bench last week due to a lack of match fitness.

The Belgian will likely replace Willian, with Pedro having impressed Sarri in recent weeks and having scored three times across pre-season and the opening league game.

Arsenal Team News
Arsenal are boosted by the return of Nacho Monreal who is coming back from a knee injury. Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will both miss out, so Monreal may be thrown back in, despite having little match practice.

Emery could also play right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner on the left-hand side, while Laurent Koscielny’s achilles injury sees him on the long-term absentee list.

TV Channel & Kick-Off Time
The game kicks off at 5.30pm BST (12.30pm ET) on Saturday and it will be on BT Sport in the United Kingdom.

Best Opta Match Facts
Chelsea have won five of their last six home league games against Arsenal, with the exception being a 0-0 draw last season.

Arsenal lost their opening Premier League match against Manchester City – they haven’t lost both of their first two games in a season since 1992-93 (vs Norwich and Blackburn).

As Napoli manager, new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri lost just four of his 57 home league games (W43 D10 L4).

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud scored in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017. If he scores for the Blues, he’ll be only the second player to score in this fixture for both sides in the Premier League, after Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s next league goal will be his 150th in the big five European leagues.

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