TEAM NEWS: Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain & Giroud on the bench for Arsenal against Chelsea

Thomas Vermaelen returns to the Gunners' starting XI in place of Per Mertesacker, while Branislav Ivanovic makes his 100th Premier League start for Roberto Di Matteo's side
Arsenal welcome back Thomas Vermaelen to the starting line-up for today's clash with Chelsea, with Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud all named among the substitutes.

Vermaelen was absent from the Gunners' last Premier League outing against Manchester City with an illness, but he returns to the side for this afternoon's kick-off in place of Per Mertesacker, who drops to the bench.

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic makes his 100th start in England's top flight, while John Terry lines up alongside David Luiz at the heart of defence despite his FA disciplinary proceedings earlier this week.

Brazil starlet Oscar is also handed a start behind striker Fernando Torres, meaning Frank Lampard and Victor Moses must settle for places on the Blues bench.

Mannone; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby; Cazorla, Ramsey, Gervinho; Podolski.

Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Djourou, Santos, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.

Subs: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Bertrand, Romeu, Lampard, Moses.