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Predicted Chelsea line-up to Face Arsenal: Defence To Remain The Same

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Jose Mourinho

Arsenal and Chelsea will face off this Saturday in a crunch Premier league tie, both teams suffered contrasting results in their respective midweek Champions League fixtures. Chelsea managed to overcome their below-par start to the League with a thumping 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv while Arsenal suffered a shock defeat on their travel to Croatia, where they were defeated 2-1 by Dinamo Zagreb. This match will reignite the rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, who have both come against each other both physically on the pitch and even on the media so many times.

Here is how Chelsea are expected to line-up against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic

With Courtois ruled out for the foreseeable future, Begovic will continue to deputise for the Belgian. To be fair to him, he has done quite a good job between the sticks in the absence of Courtois. Begovic wasn’t troubled a lot during the win against Maccabi, but he will need to be on his top game in order to keep the likes of Sanchez, Ozil etc quite on Saturday.

Asmir Begović
Asmir Begović

Defense: Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill and Azpilicueta.

Although Baba Rahman did well against Maccabi on Wednesday, Mourinho will be tempted to start with Ivanovic as a right-back against Arsenal. Experience might be the only factor working in favour of Ivanovic right now, after a torrid start to the Season. Theo Walcott is expected to lead the line for Arsenal on Saturday, which can mean another afternoon on the bench for captain John Terry given is an inability to deal with pace.

Kurt Zouma and Cahill will form the centre-back pairing while Azpilicueta will man the left wing. He has been by far the most consistent Chelsea defender this season and probably one of the first names on the team sheet.

Midfield: Fabregas, Matic, Ramires, Oscar and Hazard.

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard

Mourinho would have been pleased to see Fabregas on the score sheet against Maccabi, such has been his dip in form this year. The goal will have definitely helped Fabregas and there won’t be a better time to score his first goal in the Premier League this season than against his former club. Matic was rested for the midweek match but is expected to be back in the starting XI come Saturday.

Mourinho confirmed that summer signing Pedro and Brazilian star Willian will not be available against Arsenal due to thigh and hamstring injuries respectively, therefore we might see Ramires being deployed on the right side of the midfield, while Oscar will occupy the number 10 role behind the striker. The biggest worry for Mourinho right now will be the performance of Hazard this season, but it is very unlikely that he will drop his star player against a top-four rival.

Striker: Diego Costa

Diego Costa
Diego Costa

Costa came off the bench against Maccabi to score his first Champions League goal for Chelsea and we expect him to be back up front against Arsenal on Saturday as there are not many options that Mourinho has in the strikers department.