Two of England’s biggest clubs will lock horns in a Premier League London derby at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
League toppers Arsenal will look to keep their momentum at a venue where they emerged victorious the last two times.
On the other hand, Chelsea will look to draw inspiration from their midweek Champions League victory against Dinamo Zagreb and bounce back from the 4-1 humbling they had suffered against Brighton in their last Premier League outing.
A win in Europe was crucial to mend the wounds Chelsea had sustained in their heavy defeat at the Amex Stadium.
Graham Potter’s side managed to get the job done on Wednesday night and clinch the top spot in Group E ahead of AC Milan. But their Croatian guests gave them a run for their money.
The West Londoners had already qualified for the knockout stages before the Zagreb game. But the first spot in the group was still up for grabs, so Potter deployed a strong starting XI.
Bruno Petković put the visitors ahead before Raheem Sterling and Denis Zakaria, who finally made his much-awaited Chelsea debut, turned the tie on its head.
The horrendous defeat to Brighton will still cast a dark shadow over the Blues when they take the field against their London rivals.
But things have not been far from chaotic at Chelsea since Graham Potter joined, as they lost only once under the ex-Brighton manager in 11 matches. So, the Stamford Bridge crowd will be hopeful of celebrating a positive result against an Arsenal side that will enter the fray 10 points ahead of Graham Potter’s men.
A draw at Southampton, followed by a defeat at PSV Eindhoven, put the Gunners under extra pressure before facing Nottingham Forest at home.
Arsenal had to win against a Forest side that were fresh off the back of a memorable win against Liverpool to reclaim the top spot of the league.
The North Londoners cruised to a statement 5-0 win despite their star winger Bukayo Saka leaving the pitch early with an injury.
Arteta sent Reiss Nelson to deputise for the England international, and the 22-year-old responded with a haul of 2 goals and one assist.
Gabriel Martinelli, Thomas Partey and Martin Ødegaard were also on target as Arsenal recorded their biggest victory since December 2021, when they beat Norwich by the same margin.
Despite the goal fest, Gabriel Jesus could not get his name on the scoresheet.
The Brazil international extended his barren run to seven games across all competitions in Arsenal’s 1-0 Europa League win over FC Zürich on Thursday night.
Jesus has been an integral part of Arsenal’s attack, as he has already made 11 goal contributions. But the former Man City man will be eager to end his goal drought on the weekend with another derby goal.
Ben Chilwell joined Kepa Arrizabalaga, Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Wesley Fofana in the Chelsea medical room as he limped off the pitch during the midweek clash against Zagreb.
The England international will not be boarding the Qatar-bound flight with the Three Lions as he will spend the next three months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Bukayo Saka overcame the injury scare and will be available for selection against Chelsea.
Emile Smith Rowe, who scored on both of his last two trips to Chelsea’s turf, will not be involved as he is out with a long-term injury.
Takehiro Tomiyasu suffered an injury in Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Zürich. But he is yet to be ruled out of the Chelsea game.
Oleksandr Zinchenko will be fit to make it to the squad after missing a series of matches due to injury.
Considering Chelsea’s injury-ridden and Arsenal’s raging form, the Gunners are favourites to pick up their third successive win at Stamford Bridge.
We are expecting a 2-1 win for Arsenal.