Home » EPL, Latest » Game Preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal will be without midfielder Jack Wilshere, who starts a two-match suspension, for Monday night’s Barclays Premier League clash against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. Centre-half Laurent Koscielny is a major doubt after suffering a gash to his knee in the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City, but German forward Lukas Podolski is available again after three months out with a hamstring injury. Forward Yaya Sanogo (back), midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all still sidelined.

Chelsea left back Ashley Cole is to return to the substitutes’ bench at best for Monday’s Premier League crunch clash at his former club Arsenal. With Branislav Ivanovic available after serving a one-match ban, the Serbia defender will return at right back, with Cesar Azpilicueta reverting to left back and Cole dropping out of the side. Captain John Terry will also return, but Michael Essien is banned after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season at Sunderland and his fellow midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee.

A match that should be revealing much about the title credentials of both teams. Should they lose, Arsenal will concede their place at the top of the Premier League table for the first time since August. After consecutive defeats against Napoli and Manchester City, they would also be experiencing their first significant wobble. Chelsea have been grinding out results but it is clear that Jose Mourinho is far from happy with their form and he may simply be satisfied to play for a low-scoring draw.

Stat of the game: 8 – Chelsea have won eight and lost just two of the last 11 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions.

Arsenal (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Szeczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Walcott, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla; Ozil; Giroud.
Out: Wilshere (suspended), Miyaichi (hamstring), Sanogo (back), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby (both knee).
Test: Koscielny (knee).

Chelsea (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Hazard; Oscar, Torres.
Out: Essien (suspended), Bertrand (knock), Van Ginkel (knee).

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