02 Jan, 17:00
Arsenal and Chelsea meet for the first of three January clashes between the London rivals on Wednesday.
The Gunners will aim to close the gap to the top four after Sunday's draw at West Brom left them three points behind the Champions League spots. Meanwhile, Chelsea will spy an opportunity to create breathing space in the race for a top-four spot. The Blues, who have won five and drawn one of their last six in all competitions, will move at least eight points clear of fifth spot with a win.
The Premier League meeting comes exactly a week before the sides meet at Stamford Bridge for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final.
Arsenal hope Mesut Ozil will be fit to face Chelsea after missing the draw with West Brom with a knee problem. The Germany international will undergo a late fitness test, while Sead Kolasinac is also a doubt after hobbling out of the game at The Hawthorns. Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Olivier Giroud remain out.
Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko will likely return for the trip to Arsenal after being rested against Stoke. Andreas Christensen recovered from an illness to make the bench against the Potters and is set to start in north London, while Davide Zappacosta is pushing for a starting place after impressing as a substitute on Saturday.
Predicted line ups
Arsenal starting XI: Cech, Chambers, Mustafi, Koscielny, Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette
Chelsea starting XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Hazard, Morata
Head to head
Arsenal have had the better share of victories when it comes to this fixture. They have won in 75 of their meetings while Chelsea have won 62 of their clashes. The two have settled for a draw a total of 55 times.
Chelsea will come out strong after resting some of their players against Stoke and they could prove too strong against an Arsenal side that has a myriad of dressing room issues. However, as Arsenal are at home, they might choose to fight it out despite the issues present. The game will potentially end in a 2-2 draw as goals from both sides will be expected.