Chelsea extend their lead at the top the English Premier League table to nine points despite dropping two points away to Jurgen Klopp led side, but thanks to second-placed Arsenal 2-1 loss to Watford. Arsenal will look forward to giving it a good fight to secure three maximum points at Stamford Bridge in today’s London Derby to keep “The Gunners” title ambition alive.
Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal back in September 2016 was the first defeat Conte led side taste since the start of the 2016/2017 campaign since the game at the Emirates, Chelsea has herald from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 formational change and “The Blues” will want to prove their mettle with a win.
Chelsea has won 15 of their last 17 EPL games, only to struggled against the top-four rival this season winning only one of their five fixture.
Meanwhile,Arsenal have lots of incentive and motivation to go into today’s clash and prove a point,the defeat to Watford typically explains why the Gunners may not win the EPL anytime soon, history always repeat itself in Arsenal case, always crumbling around this time of the year simply because the manager always fails to bring in extra legs to his fatigued squad.
However, no pundit or faithful fans will place a bet on Arsenal coming out victorious in today’s titanic battle, but a defeat at Stamford bridge would leave the Gunners 12 points behind Chelsea and almost certainly resigned to focusing their sights on top-four battle than a first league chase since 2004.
A victory for Arsenal today is essential not just because of cutting 3 points off the leaders and keeping their title dream alive, but in restoring the team’s psychological advances against Wenger which rises and falls as Arsenal’s fortunes blink
Now the question is can Arsenal stop hot-firing Conte’s team since Wenger job is made doubly hard serving two more games on the stands and losing his midfielders to lengthy injuries?
Chelsea has no injury worries ahead of the crunchy showdown, but Conte is unlikely to make any changes from the team that battle Liverpool on Tuesday.
While Arsenal are sweating real bad on fitness issue of Oliver Giroud and
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with
Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Granit Xhaka (suspended)
Aaron Ramsey (calf injury ) definitely out of the tie and Wenger will hope Chamberlain comes back and takes a cover for the Welshman alongside Francis Coquelin.
POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UPS
Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Hazard, Pedro, Costa
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Coquelin, Iwobi; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck
Kick-off: Saturday 4th February 2017 1:30 pm
Venue(Stadium): Stamford Bridge
Picture Credits: Premierleague.com