Chelsea will seek to extend their nine-point lead at the top of the standings when they host London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Blues previously held a nine-match unbeaten league streak versus the Gunners before the 3-0 humbling at the Emirates earlier in October. Since then, Chelsea have shifted to a 3-4-3 formation, which has helped them win 15 of their last 17 outings a�� including a joint-record 13-match winning run in a single English season.
Head coach Antonio Conte is unlikely to make many changes from the line-up which started Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool, although Pedro and Cesc Fabregas could be promoted from the bench. Branislav Ivanovic’s nine-year stay with Chelsea ended earlier this week when he moved to Zenit St Petersburg.
In his press conference this morning, Antonio Conte confirmed that the whole squad is available for selection for the big game tomorrow.
Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud. With midfielder Aaron Ramsey (calf) definitely out, manager Arsene Wenger will hope Oxlade-Chamberlain can overcome a slight knee problem to take the Welshman’s place alongside Francis Coquelin.
Giroud also took a knock in Tuesday’s defeat to Watford but is expected to be fit, while Danny Welbeck should return to the squad after being rested. Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Granit Xhaka (suspended) are both out while Mohamed Elneny is away at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Chelsea squad: Courtois, Begovic, Alonso, Fabregas, Zouma, Kante, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Pedro, Costa, Matic, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Luiz, Eduardo, Aina, Ake.
Predicted Starting XI – Courtois (GK), Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Matic, Kante, Moses, Pedro, Hazard, Willian, Costa
Arsenal squad: Cech, Ospina, Martinez, Bellerin, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Gibbs, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Sanchez, Perez, Giroud.
Predicted Starting XI – Cech (GK), Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez, Welbeck