Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal will look to overcome their poor recent record against rivals Chelsea when Antonio Conte’s men will travel to the Emirates to face them this weekend. The two teams are level on points with the home team sitting just a place above the visitors in 4th place by virtue of their better goal difference.
Wenger’s men look like they are starting to gather some momentum in the league after a poor start while for Conte, his perfect start was halted after dropping points against Swansea City and Liverpool. This game will be the first time Arsene Wenger would face up against Antonio Conte, to battle it out for the tactical supremacy. A win for either side would provide the players with great thrust forward for the rest of the season.
Arsenal will miss the services of Aaron Ramsey, who is still out injured with his hamstring. Striker Olivier Giroud remains a doubt for the tie who can feature on the bench at best. There will be a variety of changes made by Wenger from the squad that won 4-0 against Crystal palace in the midweek, as Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal all expected to come back into the starting line-up.
Striker Lucas Perez would be hoping that he gets a chance to start up front against Chelsea after his two goals against Forest. He will look to do so ahead of Alexis Sanchez who hasn’t looked convincing at all in playing as the lone striker. It will be interesting to see if Wenger again decides to go with the pairing of Cazorla and Coquelin in the double pivot or pairs Cazorla with Granit Xhaka after the Swiss midfielder impressed with his displays in the last two games he played.
There won’t be any changes for Chelsea to from the side that took to the field at the King Power in the midweek. Courtois, Hazard, Willian, Costa and Kanté are all expected to come back into the first XI. John Terry was expected to be available for the tie but he is still out which means David Luiz and Gary Cahill will be the central defensive pairing against Arsenal. It will be interesting to see if Conte decides to include Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas in the starting line-up after the defender impressed against Leicester and Fabregas won the game with his late brace at the King Power.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Alexis; Perez.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Matic, Kanté; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa.
Arsenal are favourites to win the tie at 27/20, while a Chelsea win is priced at 21/10. A draw is at 13/5. (888Sport)