Chelsea - Arsenal Preview: Benitez's side looking to halt Stamford Bridge woes
The Blues have been horribly out of form at home recently, and take on a Gunners team that will be eager to close the gap on their rivals for a Champions League spot
By Ewan Roberts
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole
Oscar, Mata, Hazard
Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski
Chelsea have an almost fully fit squad to choose from, with Oriol Romeu (knee) the only long-term absentee. John Terry has returned to fitness but is unlikely to start.
Nigerian duo Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel have both travelled to South Africa for the Africa Cup of Nations so are unavailable for selection.
Branislav Ivanovic was rested against Southampton but should return to the starting XI in place of Gary Cahill, while Demba Ba is expected to continue up front.
Arsene Wenger is still without Mikel Arteta (calf), who has been sidelined until the end of the month, so Abou Diaby is likely to continue in midfield in his absence.
Laurent Koscielny has served the one-match suspension he picked up against Manchester City, and could return to defence ahead of Per Mertesacker.
Gervinho is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast, while Tomas Rosicky (calf) has been ruled out of Sunday’s derby.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have won just one of their last seven league games at Stamford Bridge – their worst run at home since 1995.
- It took Fernando Torres 25 appearances to score three goals for Chelsea, whereas Demba Ba managed that tally in just four games.
- Chelsea have been awarded seven penalties and scored six, more than any other side; while only two officials have pointed to the spot more often than Sunday’s referee Martin Atkinson.
- No player has assisted more goals (eight) than Juan Mata (pictured right); the Spaniard has also scored seven goals. He is 8/5 to score anytime against Arsenal with bet365.
- The Blues have picked up more bookings for simulation (five) than any other side.
- Arsenal have fewer points this season (34) after 21 games than in any previous campaign under Arsene Wenger.
- No team has averaged more possession on the road than Arsenal (59.8 per cent) or averaged more short passes per game (531).
- The Gunners have a league win percentage of just 14.28% without Mikel Arteta, winning once, drawing three and losing three.
- The north London club have only lost once this season against teams from the capital, a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates in September.
- When Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3 in the respective fixture last season, they became the first and only away side to strike five times in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-1 Arsenal FC
- 12.88 %
Chelsea FC 2-1 Arsenal FC
- 12.56 %
Chelsea FC 1-2 Arsenal FC
- 10.57 %
|England - Capital One Cup (League Cup) (CCUP)||29 Oct 2013||Arsenal FC 0 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||20 Jan 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Arsenal FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||29 Sep 2012||Arsenal FC 1 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||21 Apr 2012||Arsenal FC 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||29 Oct 2011||Chelsea FC 3 - Arsenal FC 5|
|17 Dec 2013||Sunderland 2 - Chelsea FC 1||CCUP|
|14 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|11 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Steaua Bucureşti 0||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed