Chelsea will seek to continue on their winning ways when they entertain cross-town rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues have not had much luck against their London counterparts with no victories in six previous meetings but they can buck the trend under the tutelage of Maurizio Sarri this weekend.
Kepa Arrizabalaga had a solid debut against Huddersfield Town last time around with the Terriers managing just a solitary shot on target. The Spaniard should start between the sticks once more. In the defence, Sarri may not see the need to tinker with the combination and Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso should retain their places into the right and left-back positions respectively with David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger occupying the heart of the backline.
Likewise, the midfield department should remain the same from the previous weekend with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ross Barkley making up the three-man partnership. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic may provide more creativity from the bench if required, though former Gunner Cesc Fabregas appears likely to miss the game after failing to recover from a knee injury picked up during a pre-season game against the same opponents.
Further forward, Sarri may consider dropping Alvaro Morata to the bench for the derby with the Spaniard having failed to find the scoresheet for the Blues since the start of pre-season. Should this end up the case, Pedro and Willian may slot into the left and right side of the attack respectively, thereby paving way for Eden Hazard to start centrally in a false number-nine role, which Napoli’s Dries Mertens found plenty of success with under Sarri.
Predicted Lineup: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Eden Hazard
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