Arsenal XI for Chelsea – BFG and Walcott to start

The way that the Premier League fixture schedule worked out means that the game today will be the second time Arsenal have faced one of our big EPL rivals already and that adds extra pressure. But the same is true of Chelsea as they have already lost to Man City and are in a much worse position in the league than Arsenal.

Chelsea also have a few injury problems at both ends of the pitch, with Courtois out for a long spell with injury and with Pedro, Falcao and Willian out of action. That is quite a serious weakening of their attacking options and it puts a lot of onus on Diego Costa and Hazard.

That is why I think Mertesacker will start as long as he is fit, because he has the stature and experience to deal with Costa and also the right temperament to not get drawn into a scrap, unlike the volatile Gabriel. With the pace of Bellerin on the right to cope with Hazard and with Coquelin protecting the back line, Arsenal should be able to cope.

At the other end it seems clear that Walcott will get the nod over Giroud and with the creative talents of Ozil, Cazorla, Alexis and Ramsey to make the most of his pace and movement, we should be able to cause Chelsea plenty of problems.

Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Coquelin, Cazorla
Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis

Is Wenger set to make it two in two against his rival Mourinho?

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