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Premier League

  • September 29, 2012
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 60101
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Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Chelsea

The Blues have kept clean sheets in their last three Premier League matches but face an Arsene Wenger side boasting an array of on-form attacking options.

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL

Mannone

Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs
Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla 
Walcott, Giroud, Podolski
CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole

Mikel, Lampard, Ramires
Hazard, Torres, Mata

Theo Walcott, after scoring a double against Coventry, is unlikely to see his midweek League Cup involvement take him out of Arsenal Wenger’s thoughts, especially with Gervinho misfiring spectacularly against Manchester City. Olivier Giroud, who scored his first Arsenal goal on Wednesday night may replace the Ivorian, with Walcott having to make do with a place on the wing.

Thomas Vermaelen (illness) returns and could force Per Mertesacker to drop to the bench, with the Belgian linking up with Laurent Koscielny to recreate the center back pairing that served the home side so well last term. Long-term absentees Jack Wilshere (ankle), Bacary Sagna (leg), Tomas Rosicky (Achilles) and Wojciech Szczesny (foot) remain out until next month.

Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) should recover in time for the visit to the Emirates though only the former is likely to feature from the off.

John Terry’s recently imposed four-match ban will not start until after the appeals process has been concluded so the Blues captain should remain in the starting lineup in defense, as Roberto Di Matteo finds himself with a full squad to select from.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Victory over Chelsea would hand Wenger his 350th Premier League win as Arsenal boss.   
  • Compared to last season, Arsenal is 10 places higher, has five more points and a goal difference which is +15 better.
  • Vito Mannone (91 percent) has a better saves-to-shots ratio this season than Petr Cech (88 percent).
  • Mikel Arteta (pictured, right), who will be in line to make his 250th start in English soccer, has averaged 111 touches per game this season, more than any other player in the Premier League.
  • Chelsea has failed to win any of its last 22 Premier League games in which the recently departed Didier Drogba has not featured.
  • The Blues have not conceded in 331 minutes - Danny Guthrie's goal for Reading in August being the last.
  • John Terry is one goal away from 50 for Chelsea.
  • Branislav Ivanovic is in line to make his 100th start for the Blues.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
25Vito MannoneGoalkeeper
5Thomas VermaelenDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
24A. DiabyMidfielder
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
27GervinhoStriker
-Damián MartínezGoalkeeper
4Per MertesackerDefender
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
12Olivier GiroudStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
26John TerryDefender
23David LuizDefender
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
7RamiresMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
24Gary CahillDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
-Oriol RomeuMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder

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From the web