Premier League leaders Arsenal will aim to maintain the top spot in the league this game week as Arsene Wenger’s side welcome the reigning Champions Chelsea this Sunday.
The Emirates side Arsenal look like real title contenders this season, having maintained their form throughout the period and ranking on top in terms of goal difference ahead of second placed Leicester City. The traveling side, however, are a fading force who currently sit 13th in the league position, and their chance at Champions League next summer is almost out of hand.
A win against the London rivals Chelsea will see Arsenal bolster their credentials to keep hold of their position and become the league winners for the first time since 2004.
Mesut Ozil, who has been in great form for Arsenal having made a league-high 16 assists this term in all competitions, had to sit out in the match against Stoke City last weekend. But the club’s manager Wenger believes that the star will be a part of the starting lineup along with Alexis Sanchez.
Watching the match vs. Stoke! Hopefully I'll be back well for the next match. But for now: COME ON YOU GUNNERS ???????? pic.twitter.com/vrS8ncBieJ— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 17, 2016
“Compared to last week we have no big problems for the Arsenal squad,” Arsene Wenger said.
Ozil certainly will be available and Sanchez, the next two days will be decisive, but I think this time he will make it.
“Coquelin is back in full training today, ahead of schedule, Welbeck is in full training next week. Rosicky will play tomorrow night against Chelsea,” he added.
Sanchez has been a real concern for Wenger at Arsenal this season as the player missed several comeback dates because of a hamstring problem. Arsenal expected the return of the player on December 21 against Manchester City, but the player was ruled out of the first team.
Olivier Giroud has also played his part for Arsenal’s top spot in the league having scored 12 times this season keeping the club 19 points ahead of the defending Champions Chelsea, a feat Arsenal has achieved after 22 years.
On the other hand, Chelsea are struggling to find a form this season and with Jose Mourinho sacked, the pressure is starting to build up for Guus Hiddink who’s yet to lose a match. Star performers Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic, and Cesc Fabregas are under the shadow and are under-performing at this level for Chelsea.
Despite slight improvements in the team after the appointment of the interim manager Guus Hiddink at Chelsea, it’ll require a miracle for the north London club to make it to the top four and get a Champions League place next season.
The Blues side’s shaky defense has seen 34 goals go past the keeper this season, two more than all of last term. The striking upfront led by Diego Costa is still below par, while Loic Remy, who showed glimpses of good performance, is still looking to find his feet. Radamel Falcao on the other hand has been the weakest signing for the club.
In a return fixture played between Arsenal and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the Blues side under Jose Mourinho led the game winning 2-0 in a bad-tempered fixture. The Gunners side ended up with nine players in the pitch after a feud between Diego Costa and Gabriel saw Arsenal’s center-half get a red while Santi Cazorla was also sent off.
Arsene Wenger will surely be looking forward to settling the scores at the Emirates and giving Arsenal side a boost to keep hold of the top spot in the English Premier League.
Chelsea has concerns with Diego Costa who picked up a shin injury against Everton in a 3-3 thriller last weekend. However, the striker is awaiting a return and might be available for the fixture, while Eden Hazard is also set to return to perform against Arsenal.
The 19-point gap between Arsenal and Chelsea is the biggest in 22 years and the club will surely enjoy their bragging rights to add more to Chelsea’s woes.
[Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images]