TEAM NEWS: Torres starts for Chelsea against unchanged Arsenal

Fernando Torres starts for Chelsea with Demba Ba on the bench as the Blues host Arsenal in the Premier League.

For the Gunners, as exclusively revealed earlier on Sunday, Theo Walcott celebrates confirming his new contract by starting on the right flank in an unchanged XI.

Home boss Rafa Benitez, in the absence of John Obi Mikel, plays Ramires and Frank Lampard in the centre of midfield against a youthful Arsenal trio of Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere, the latter the more advanced of the three.

Despite scoring his third goal in four games in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Southampton in midweek, new signing Ba is withdrawn in favour of the struggling Torres, with David Luiz dropped from the matchday squad in the only other change from Wednesday’s game. Recovering captain John Terry is again a substitute.

The north Londoners are unchanged in their starting XI but Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both absent due to illness.

Chelsea starting XI:
Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Bertrand, Ake, Marin, Ba

Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby; Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla

Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Santos, Frimpong, Ramsey, Arshavin

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