Chelsea vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
Chelsea will face yet another tough examination of their Premier League title credentials when London rivals Arsenal take the short trip across the capital to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Antonio Conte’s side have recovered well from an opening day shock, winning four consecutive matches across all competitions as they once again look like a force to be reckoned with this year.
On the other hand Arsenal have been far from convincing so far this season after defeats to Stoke and Liverpool, but back-to-back wins and improved displays has set up a mouth-watering encounter.
All of the fuss and furore that followed Chelsea’s opening day defeat to Burnley seems to have disappeared after four successive victories, and the Blues’ title defence is well and truly underway.
Tottenham, Everton and Leicester City – three tough opponents – have all been cast aside by Antonio Conte’s men, and the 6-0 thrashing of minnows Qarabag in Europe will only raise morale.
By contrast, the visitors have already lost two Premier League matches this season, falling short against Stoke City before their well-documented humiliation at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and FC Koln since the international break has portrayed a resolve of some sorts, and Arsene Wenger will now want his side to make it three wins from three at Chelsea.
Chelsea boss Conte has no fresh injury concerns following a comfortable evening’s work in the Champions League, but Gary Cahill is expected to return to the side after completing his suspension.
He’s likely to take the place of Antonio Rudiger in the centre of defence, whilst Belgian talisman Eden Hazard could potentially be awarded his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the week.
For the visitors, Wenger will ring the changes from the side that saw off FC Koln but he could be tempted to persist with a 4-2-3-1 formation following the success it brought during the second-half on Thursday.
Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny will all make their returns to the starting eleven whilst Mohamed Elneny may retain his spot after an impressive display.
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Match Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal
After their opening day loss to Burnley at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have really started to re-find their stride once again and Arsenal may find it hard to stop them from continuing that momentum.
The Gunners were woeful across the pitch during their last encounter with a top-six rival and, despite two resounding victories since the Liverpool loss, it will no doubt still be playing on Wenger’s mind.
The Frenchman will hope Arsenal can channel their display from the FA Cup final or the recent Community Shield, where they matched their opponents, but Chelsea should have enough to win.
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