The Big Match: Chelsea vs. Arsenal Preview

  • Stamford Bridge
  • 12.45
  • September 18, 2015
  • BT Sport 1

The Teams

Chelsea (Possible 4-2-3-1) Asmir Begovic, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta; Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nemanja Matic; Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar; Diego Costa.

Out: Thibaut Courtois (knee), Willian (hamstring).

Test: Ramadel Falcao (knee), Pedro (thigh).

Arsenal (Possible 4-2-3-1) Petr Cech, Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla; Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott.

Out: Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck (knee), Tomas Rosicky (knee).

 

Team news:

Chelsea

Jose Mourinho will have to sweat on the fitness of his star attack Pedro who picked up a knock in their Champions League exploits on Wednesday. The forward is a doubt for the game with a thigh injury.

Elsewhere Ramadel Falcao is a slight doubt too, as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Arsenal

There are no new injury concerns for Arsene Wenger ahead of Saturday’s clash with his for Jose Mourinho, with only long-term absentees Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck set to miss out on the action.  

Insight:

Chelsea host Arsenal following a comfortable win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League, with the hosts having only accrued four points from five games this season – a disastrous start by the Blues.

John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa are all expected to be recalled to the starting XI after being rested for their Champions League match midweek. Branislav Ivanovic could still miss out, however.

Pedro and Willian are almost certainly ruled out of contention after picking up injuries in their midweek win in the Champions League meaning Oscar and Ramires are likely to come in, while Loftus-Cheek could get another start.

Olivier Giroud’s midweek red card may cost him his starting place against Chelsea. The Frenchman is not suspended, but he may have to settle for a spot on the bench.

Per Mertesacker should be available for selection after recovering from a car crash at the start of the week and his experience should see him recalled in favour of Gabriel.

Petr Cech will start against his former club for the first time in what will be an emotional return to Stamford Bridge for the goalkeeper.

Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last three matches in the Premier League while Chelsea have conceded at least two goals in their last five matches in the Premier League.

Defeat to Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger in particular, would cap a terrible start to the season for Jose Mourinho. The reigning Premier League champions cannot afford to lose any more ground on Manchester City and will be desperate to overcome their London rivals.

The likely result on Saturday is a draw, with the Blues setting up the a big blue bus; neutral fans hoping for a spectacle should think again.

Prediction: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal