Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates to play their first derby match of the season. It will be a major test after a major test. The first major test, Arsenal played well and were able to grind a 1-1 draw. Chelsea come at Arsenal top of the league and in a good form after losing none in the league. Chelsea did lose 4-1 in the European Super Cup against Atletico Madrid. Arsenal are in form as well, unbeaten in all competition. The Gunners sit in fifth place ahead of this exciting tie.
The Gunners have lost just one of the last four Premier League game against Chelsea which was a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, two seasons ago. The same season the Gunners defeated the Blues 3-1 when they visited the Emirates. Last season the Gunners put five past the European champions at Stamford Bridge to win 5-3. It was a memorable day. The last match between them resulted in a frustrating goalless draw.
Probable line up:
Mannone will continue in goal after Szczesny was ruled out for 2-3 weeks due to injury. Mannone didn’t have a particularly impressive game against ManCity but will look to build on his good performances earlier this season in the absence of the Arsenal number 1.
The defence would prove out to be a headache for the Gunners with all three Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen fit for the game. The problem is even bigger as all three men are in form so it is going to be interesting to see who Arsène Wenger will put out as his back four. I am a massive Koscielny fan but I think Wenger would opt for a Mertesacker and Vermaelen partnership in the middle of the defence. The full backs Gibbs and Jenkinson will continue to play out at Left back and Right back respectively.
In the middle of the park, Diaby and Arteta would play the two holding positions with Cazorla in his free roaming position from where he would like to tear the Chelsea defence apart.
The trio up front would consist of free scoring Podolski out on the left, Olivier Giroud in the middle who opened his Arsenal account during midweek against Coventry and Walcott would be given a start down the right after impressing during midweek as well with a wonderful brace.
It is going to be a very difficult match with Chelsea having one of the most dangerous midfield and attack in the league consisting of Torres, Hazard, Oscar, Mata and others. A win would certainly do good to the Gunners and would push them further in the league.