Following a disappointing 1-0 defeat to West Ham last weekend, Arsenal will be looking for an immediate response against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Gunners go into the weekend action in fifth place on 41 points, level with Manchester United in sixth. But with United playing at 3pm against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, Arsenal are likely to kick off at 17:30 three points behind.
Unai Emery’s men can’t afford another slip up in the race for the Champions League qualification spots, and it will take a big performance against Chelsea to close the gap.
1. Goalkeeper and Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – Petr Cech announced this week that he would be retiring at the end of the season, which is further evidence that Leno has finally established himself as Arsenal’s number one. But he’ll be hoping to keep more clean sheets in this half of the season, with just two to his name.
Hector Bellerin (RWB) – After coming off the bench at West Ham, Bellerin should return to the starting XI after missing four league games with a calf strain.
Shkodran Mustafi (RCB) – Taken off at half-time in two of the last three games, the German defender will be hoping to complete a full 90 minutes since 5th December.
Sokratis Papasthathopolous (CB) – A big player in defence for Emery since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Sokratis is in line to make his 16th league start.
Laurent Koscielny (LCB) – The Frenchman has regained the armband since his return before Christmas from an Achilles injury.
Nacho Monreal (LWB) – On the bench against West Ham, Arsenal will need Monreal to bring some defensive stability against Chelsea. Though strong going forward, Sead Kolasinac may have to sit this one out if Monreal is fit.
Lucas Torreira (CM) – One of Arsenal’s standout performers this season, Torreira will be key if Arsenal are to nullify Eden Hazard. Expect an Ander Herrera-esque job from the Uruguayan, who has featured in every league game this season.
Matteo Guendouzi (CM) – A favourite of Emery, the 19-year-old has featured in all but three league games this season. Mesut Ozil was left out of the squad entirely last weekend as he appears to have fallen out of favour.
Alex Iwobi (LW) – The Arsenal academy product is finally showing the ability to deliver on his promise this season, with two assists in his last three league games. The Nigerian winger scored in the reverse fixture back in August.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – Played the full 90 just once in his last eight league fixtures, Lacazette has often showed his frustration this season. Despite that, the Frenchman has seven goals and six assists to his name.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (RW) – Looking for his 15th goal of the season, Aubameyang is often pushed out wide with Lacazette down the middle. He missed some huge chances at Stamford Bridge in August and will be hoping for a better result this time out.