Premier League giants, Arsenal and Chelsea meet at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening in a game that could have massive repercussions on the race for the Champions League spots. The Gunners are in a bad place at the moment, winning just twice in their last 5 matches, and are 6 points behind Saturday’s opponents, who currently occupy fourth place in the league.
The Emirates is not a happy place to be as an Arsenal fan at the moment, as issues concerning transfers, management challenges, Mesut Ozil, and league position is causing another division amongst the fans. Arsenal know that anything short of a victory will see them fall away from the Champions League places and could see them usurped from 5th position by Manchester United, who have been imperious in recent weeks.
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Here are the players that Unai Emery can call on to try help defeat the FA Cup holders on Saturday evening.
Despite announcing his imminent retirement at the end of the season, Petr Cech is still expected to be named on the bench with first choice, Bernd Leno expected to be in goal.
Despite losing at West Ham last week, Unai Emery will probably stick with the three-at-the system he has been using in recent weeks. In the heart of defence, the trio of Koscielny, Mustafi and Sokratis will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Chelsea’s fluid attack.
At left wingback, Sead Kolasinac is a shoe-in for the position having impressed there in recent weeks. Spanish international, Nacho Monreal is back to full fitness following a spell on the sidelines, but Emery will be wary of using him in what is a high-octane game. In the middle of the park, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira have been playing together for a while now and are improving day by day, though their mettle is likely to be put to the test against a very balanced Chelsea midfield. At right wingback, Hector Bellerin should get to play having returned to full fitness.
Despite talk about his relationship with Unai Emery, former German international, Mesut Ozil should be favourite to play in his game in the position behind the striker. The 30-year-old needs to roll back the years and convince his manager of his abilities.
Meanwhile, up front, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should benefit from the inclusion of Ozil in the starting eleven having looked isolated up top in recent matches.
Probable lineup: Leno; Koscielny, Mustafi, Sokratis; Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Bellerin; Ozil; Aubameyang, Lacazette.