The Best Arsenal / Chelsea Combined XI: Includes 6 Gunners, Agree?


Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois – The Chelsea stopped just tips Petr Cech to the number one spot, after all his presence forced Cech to Arsenal after falling behind the Belgian in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Neither keeper has been in their best form of late, but Courtois just edges this one for me.

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Right Back: Hector Bellerin – The Spaniard is certainly ahead of Branislav Ivanovic. Although he still needs to improve to fulfil his world class potential, Bellerin is already a quality right back and one of the very best in the division, whilst Ivanovic is struggling in his old(er) age – an easy choice.

Centre Back: Shkodran Mustafi – This is a tough one because Mustafi has only just come to England but from what we’ve seen of him so far, I think he will be a better defender than Luiz. Luiz is capable of a good performance but he is so inconsistent and prone to an error, I think the German is a more reliable presence in the back four and although he will need time to adjust to his new surroundings, I’m sure he will be a good signing.

Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny – Koscielny is an easy selection, one of the first names on this team sheet. The Frenchman is one of the best defenders in the Premier League and if he can develop a good understanding with Mustafi then Arsenal will have a quality defensive unit. He has stayed loyal to the club at a time when the likes of Bayern Munich were vying for his signature.

Left Back: Cesar Azpilicueta – This is a close one, Nacho Monreal is mr.consistent for Arsenal, but ‘Dave’ is also very consistent. I think it’s pretty even but because I opted for 3 Arsenal defenders in the other positions, Azpi just nicks this one. He has a bit more to give in the final third.

Central Midfield: N’Golo Kante – As Arsenal fans debate who should start between Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin, Chelsea have found their defensive midfielder and he is without a doubt Kante. Until Xhaka establishes himself in the Premier League fully, like Kante has, then it is quite easy to select the former Leicester City man.

Central Midfield: Santi Cazorla – This was a hard one. You’ve got Fabregas, but he’s out of favour currently, Xhaka, who also cannot yet start consistently for the Gunners and Aaron Ramsey, who blows hot and cold. With the Welshman out of action so far this season then I have to lean towards Arsenal’s little magician, Santi Cazorla, who has started the season in brilliant form.

Right Midfield: Alexis Sanchez – He’ll play on the left or through the middle on Saturday night, but Alexis can play on the right and certainly deserves his place in this eleven. At his best the Chilean is one of the best players in the Premier League and he needs to find that form consistently this season to help the Gunners keep up in the title race.

Attacking Midfield: Mesut Ozil – Ozil hasn’t started this season in top gear, but after a successful season for Arsenal last season and more good performances at the Euros for Germany, the former Real Madrid man can be forgiven for a slow start. He is undoubtedly worthy of a place in his eleven though and I suspect it won’t be long before we are all signing his praises again. With Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez now options in attack, Ozil has more pace to work with than he is used to, and that could bring out the best in him.

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Left Midfield: Eden Hazard – Eden is back to his best under Conte, almost. The Belgian has started the season well and we are starting to see similar form to what he managed two years ago. Despite Alex Iwobi impressing for Arsenal recently on the left, Hazard without a doubt has enough quality to beat him to this spot.

Striker: Diego Costa – I said it with Koscielny too, but I think Costa is probably the very first name on this team sheet. He is in form currently and has already proven himself as a consistent Premier League goal scorer in past seasons. Arsenal still don’t know who their best number 9 is, experimenting with the likes of Alexis Sanchez through the middle and that could cost them dear at the end of the season. They would love to have a player of Costa’s quality in attack and they tried to sign one this summer, but ultimately they had to go for a wildcard option in Lucas Perez.