Chelsea managed a dramatic 4-2 win, coming from 2 goals behind against Leicester City in the League Cup on Tuesday night. It was a much-needed win and the performances of some players will have given Antonio Conte plenty to think about ahead of their visit to The Emirates on Saturday night.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Begovic didn’t cover himself in glory on Tuesday night and Courtois will surely be one of the changes Conte makes for the Arsenal game. The Belgian hasn’t been at his very best for a while though and he will need to raise his game to make the difference in games like this between two big clubs.
Defence: Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso
Alonso was impressive on his debut on Tuesday night and with Branislav Ivanovic struggling, it would be wise for Conte to move Azpilicueta to the right and bring in Alonso. This gives Chelsea two pacey and athletic full backs to help counter the threat posed by the inform duo of Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott on the wings for Arsenal. At the heart of the defence, even though it hasn’t worked too well so far, Conte has little choice but to persist with Cahill and Luiz and hope that their partnership at the back blossoms. It’s hard to know what to prepare for from Arsenal as they have a few different options through the middle, but with the Gunners scoring 8 in their last 2 games, Cahill and Luiz will need to be at their best to keep a clean sheet on the night.
Midfield: N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Eden Hazard
Matic has been very poor for Chelsea so far this season and with Kante excelling in his defensive duties, the need for the Serbian is questionable. Instead, alongside Kante, Conte would be wise to select an in-form Cesc Fabregas to play against his former club. The Spaniard is so creative and helps Chelsea keep the ball and link the midfield to attack. He has a tried and tested understanding with Diego Costa up front, and although he might not run a lot, he has the tireless Kante and industrious Oscar alongside to make up for it. Chelsea simply look a better side with Cesc in the team. Conte needs to put aside his philosophy of needed everyone to run up and down the pitch all game to get into the XI, Fabregas needs to start.
Stat: Cesc Fabregas has played just 32 minutes of Premier League football so far this season.
Striker: Diego Costa
Although Chelsea have had a couple of bad games, many are forgetting that even in those games, Costa has played well. He is back in his free scoring form and he has a good record against Arsenal. The Spaniard will be confident of scoring again against an Arsenal defence that has only managed 1 clean sheet from their opening 5 games.