Arsenal face rivals Chelsea FC in the Premier League’s final London derby of the year. The Gunners are in a poor run of form with one win from 14 matches but there is plenty of optimism ahead of the Sunday clash with Mikel Arteta set to manage his first game at the Emirates Stadium.
Bernd Leno has made the second-most saves in the league (76) and he came up with three key blocks against Bournemouth last weekend. He has hardly put a foot wrong since the north London derby in September and should definitely start in goal.
Sokratis is definitely unavailable as per the concussion protocols after the head knock sustained at the Vitality Stadium. Regardless of this, Arteta will definitely chose Calum Chambers ahead of him at the heart of the defence following his return from a one-match ban. The rest of the backline should remain the same.
No changes are expected in the midfield. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira have been paired together in three of the past four league games and the Gunners have remained unbeaten in this period with two draws and one victory. The duo should definitely continue to keep their places.
Further forward, Mesut Ozil is pretty much certain to feature in the number 10 position after a lively performance in Arteta’s first game in charge, where he made a number of enticing attacking runs, starting from a central position.
Nicolas Pepe had a lively 10-minute cameo against Bournemouth where he managed three successful dribbles and looked a much better threat than Reiss Nelson, who hardly managed a cross into the box. He should start on the right wing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should feature on the left-wing with Gabriel Martinelli deemed doubtful with a hamstring problem. In this case, Arteta may stick with Alexandre Lacazette upfront, even though the Frenchman was poor in midweek, where he managed to squander a couple of chances to win the game for the Gunners.
How Arsenal could line up against Chelsea FC