Preview & team news for Arsenal's encounter against Chelsea
Ozil is a doubt for the encounter
Arsenal host Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday with the Gunners looking to improve their current sixth placed standing on the table.
Arsene Wenger's side has already lost five times this season and cannot afford to drop points against the Blues who are currently in 3rd place.
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Kickoff information
Date: 4th January
Kickoff: 19:45 (local time), 1:15 AM (IST)
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, and Nacho Monreal remain out with long-term injuries. Mesut Ozil missed the trip to West Brom on New Year's Eve and looks doubtful for the fixture as he is recovering from a knee injury that kept him out of the Gunners' draw with West Brom.
Injury battered Arsenal will start their first game of 2018 with captain Per Mertesacker likely to fill in for the absent Laurent Koscielny. In central midfield, Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka are expected to continue their partnership while upfront., one of either Danny Welbeck or Alexandre Lacazette will start.
Arsenal Form Guide:D-W-D-W-D
Predicted Arsenal Playing XI:
Cech (GK); Chambers, Mustafi, Mertesacker; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Walcott; Welbeck, Lacazette, Sanchez.
David Luiz will miss the match as he is still recovering from a knee injury while left-back Baba Rahman is still out with a long-term knee injury.
Andreas Christensen will be returning from illness and is set to play in defence.
Manager Antonio Conte rested several players against a weak Stoke City side but he will go with a full-strength team against Arsenal.
Eden Hazard was rested for the match against Stoke City and is likely to replace Danny Drinkwater in the attack. Christensen will be replacing Gary Cahill in the defence.
Victor Moses, N'Golo Kante, and Alvaro Morata came from the bench for Chelsea against Stoke City but will start the game for the Blues.
Predicted Chelsea Playing XI:
Courtois(GK)|| Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger|| Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso|| Willian, Morata, Hazard.
Chelsea Form Guide: W-W-D-W-W
Final Verdict: The in-form side in this encounter, Chelsea is favourites against an injury-ravaged Arsenal.