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After back to back victories in the domestic league and in Europe, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal are back in action this weekend, in what is easily their toughest matchup yet in the new Premier League season. They travel just a few miles on Sunday to take on the reigning league champions in the match of the weekend.
In early team news, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin are the only two players who will not be a part of the squad for this tie. Midfielder Jack Wilshere still lacks match fitness but may yet make the bench.
Predicted lineup (3-4-3):
With Ospina given the responsibilities in the Europa League, Petr Cech should be recalled as the no.1 for this tie, as he travels back to his previous home. Skipper Laurent Koscielny should start this tie after being dropped in the mid-week and should be partnered by Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal.
The German international has done well at the heart of the defence and should see Koscielny to his right and Monreal to his left on the night.
While Granit Xhaka’s form has dropped recently, he is still the first choice midfielder and is expected to keep his place in the side for this tie. Mohamed Elneny will be pushing for a start but Arsene Wenger should stick with Aaron Ramsey, who has not been too bad at the start of the new season.
This midfield might lack a bit of mettle but is surely going to give Chelsea some problems while going forward. Lack of options at wing-back should see Wenger use Hector Bellerin on the right side and newbie Sead Kolasinac on the left. Both players will have huge roles to play against an exciting Chelsea attack.
Arsene Wenger is well stacked in attack and has a number of options to choose from. German playmaker Mesut Ozil is one of the first names on the team sheet and should start on the right flank while French international Alexandre Lacazette should lead the line.
Danny Welbeck has done no harm to his reputation early this season but the nature of this tie should see Chilean contact rebel Alexis Sanchez start on the left flank.
Olivier Giroud, Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Elneny, Holding and Mertesacker should all make the bench.