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Premier League 2018-19: A combined XI of Arsenal and Chelsea for the London Derby

Suman Dey
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
4.03K   //    16 Jan 2019, 15:59 IST

Both managers would look to field their best XI this weekend.
Both managers would look to field their best XI this weekend.

Arsenal and Chelsea's is a rivalry for the ages. The clubs from London have produced some mouthwatering matches in the past, with the competition between the former managers Arsene Wenger, and Jose Mourinho having intensified the fixture even more. 

Arsenal is going through a transition phase under new manager Unai Emery, while Chelsea has witnessed a different style of football under Maurizio Sarri. Both clubs are fighting for that coveted fourth spot to ensure Champions League football next season, but currently, the Blues are ahead of the Gunners by six points, which makes it a must-win encounter for Emery's side. 

When it comes to quality, it's quite difficult to pick between the two, as both sides as enough in their ranks to turn any game on its head. If Arsenal has the current leading scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubamyeang, then Chelsea has one of the world's best players, Eden Hazard as a retort.

The combined XI is picked solely on the current form of players in a 4-2-3-1 formation. 


GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

Kepa has made a solid start to his Premier League career.
Kepa has made a solid start to his Premier League career.

Both goalkeepers — Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga and Arsenal's Bernd Leno — signed for their respective clubs in the summer transfer window. Leno was brought on as a backup for Petr Cech, whereas Chelsea signed Kepa on the deadline day to replace Thibaut Courtois. The latter moved to Real Madrid after spending eight years with Chelsea, which includes a three-season loan period to Atlético Madrid.

Leno is now the first choice goalkeeper for Arsenal after Cech was injured earlier in the season and has now announced retirement from football at the end of the current campaign. However, the German has looked vulnerable in front of the goal, which was made worse by Arsenal's fragile backline. The Gunners have the second-worst record when it comes to the number of clean sheets, which potentially harms their top four plans.

On the other hand, Kepa has a better defense in front of him, which has made the Spaniard's life much more comfortable. He is athletic and has made some crucial saves through the course of the season. It's always tough to play in the Premier League, but the former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper has thus far lived up to expectations. 

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