Chelsea in high spirits as Courtois lauds timing of Arsenal game

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After four straight victories, the Blues goalkeeper believes the Premier League champions are raring to go for another huge encounter

Having eased past Qarabag in the opening match of their Champions League campaign, Thibaut Courtois feels that Chelsea are in perfect shape to face Arsenal on Sunday.

Courtois has been involved in all of Chelsea’s games this season and has seen the Premier League champions overcome an opening day defeat at home to Burnley to completely turn their form around and win four straight matches.

Last season Antonio Conte's side slipped to defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal in September, but the Belgium international insists they are in far better shape to deal with the Gunners this time around.

“Sometimes it is good to face a big team early,” Courtois told reporters. “Last year it didn't work out against Liverpool and Arsenal, but this season we have already won at Tottenham. It is good to face Arsenal now.

“Everybody is healthy, Eden [Hazard] is getting into his best form again. We are doing well. After the bad first half against Burnley, I think all our performances have been good. We have shown good spirit, good football and good wins most importantly of all.

“Obviously against Arsenal it will be a big game. They had a few bad matches, but won comfortably last weekend. Let's see what they do in the Europa League, but they will probably rest some guys.

“For us and for them it's a big game because we are third and obviously want to close the gap and take points off Arsenal as well. We are playing at home, it will be a great game and hopefully Chelsea will be the winner.”

“Things are going well. We won at Leicester and won comfortably last night. We will go into the Arsenal game with good feeling. That doesn’t mean we should be too confident, we have to stay focused, so I hope we have a good victory.”

Courtois has helped welcome a series of new faces into the Blues squad this summer, with Davide Zappacosta marking his first start  with a goal against Qarabag on Tuesday evening.

Danny Drinkwater missed the match through injury but Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata and Timeoue Bakayoko have already established themselves in recent matches.

Courtois is pleased after witnessing the impact of his new team-mates, with Bakayoko also breaking his duck in the 6-0 win over the Azerbaijani outfit.

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Davide Zappacosta Chelsea 2017

“Rudiger joined us in Singapore so he learned very well how the manager wants us to play,” Courtois added. “Bakayoko was injured for a while, but he trained with us for a while before he played his first game.

“But Zappacosta has only trained for a few days, he came in against Leicester [as a substitute] and did well. Then last night he played a good game and scored a brilliant goal and a good assist.”

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