Friday, 3 February 2017

Chelsea v Arsenal Match Preview

Chelsea are aiming to kill off any lingering Premier League title hopes Arsenal have when the London rivals meet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Antonio Conte's Blues dropped two points with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night, but Arsenal's shock 2-1 home defeat to Watford - coupled with Tottenham's Sunderland stalemate - meant Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table to nine points.

Chelsea increase take their advantage on Arsenal to 12 points with a win in Saturday's early kick-off, and the Gunners are up against it with Arsene Wenger's touchline ban and midfield injury problems mounting.

While a win would by no means seal the title for Chelsea as early as February, a victory for Arsenal would give the Gunners - and the rest of the chasing pack - hope that Conte's men can be caught.


David Luiz admitted after Chelsea's draw at Liverpool that he has been carrying a knee injury which means he cannot train every day, though the Brazilian still turned in an impressive display at Anfield with a superb free-kick goal.

Conte has no further injury concerns for Saturday's clash with Arsenal, although the Italian coach may privately be concerned with Eden Hazard's lacklustre displays of late, as well as a below-par performance from Victor Moses at Anfield.

Arsenal have midfield injury problems for the trip across London, with Aaron Ramsey a major doubt after coming off against Watford after just 20 minutes with a calf strain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been used in central midfield with Wenger's options limited of late, though he himself was limping towards the end of the Emirates defeat on Tuesday. However, Wenger has confirmed the England international should be fit - a boost considering Santi Cazorla is still out and Mohamed Elneny remains at the African Cup of Nations.


Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Hazard, Pedro, Costa 

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck

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