Arsenal host their old foe Chelsea this weekend, in what is one of the most anticipated games of the season. Although Wenger’s arch nemesis, Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea, the intensity still remains. Both teams improved over the summer with Arsenal splashing the cash on Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Granit Xhaka. With this said, let’s have a look at a combined XI of the two teams in a typical 4-2-3-1 formation.
GK: Petr Cech
The ex-Chelsea man has been brilliant for Arsenal since he made the switch. He has started the season well and just takes the place of Courtois in this team. Cech is a very consistent ‘keeper
RB: Hector Bellerin
The young Spaniard is fast becoming one of the best fullbacks in the League. Ivanovic on the other hand seems to be on the decline. The Serbian international has been one of the most reliable fullbacks in the League for quite some time, but it seems that Chelsea might have to look for a replacement soon. Bellerin is excellent going forward and is improving as a defender, Bellerin takes this spot.
CB: Gary Cahill
A very contentious spot. Although Shkodran Mustafi has settled well Cahill is equally solid centreback. John Terry would’ve taken this spot if he were fit but he isn’t. Cahill takes the spot, just.
CB: Laurent Koscielny
An easy choice. Koscielny has been outstanding so far this season. Playing with more mobile partners seems to have helped Koscielny and he is fast establishing himself as one of the best centreback in the world.
LB: Nacho Monreal
A tough call but Monreal just takes it. Both are excellent fullbacks and incredibly inconsistent. A very close call.
CDM: N’Golo Kante
This is where things get tough. Francis Coquelin has had an indifferent start to the season while Aaron Ramsey is out with an injury. Cesc Fabregas could’ve played in this role but the French international’s workrate just gives him the edge.
CDM: Santi Cazorla
Some might argue that Granit Xhaka should have taken this spot but on his day, there aren’t many better midfielders than the mercurial magician. Often overlooked, Cazorla is arguably Arsenal’s most important player.
RW: Eden Hazard
Arsenal’s wingers have not had a great start to the season. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular have been poor. On the flip side of things, Eden Hazard seems reborn. If Conte can get him back to his best, Chelsea could well have a shot at the title.
CAM: Mesut Ozil
Not completely back to his best but they aren’t many who challenge him in the position. Arsenal will need him at his best against Chelsea.
LW: Alexis Sanchez
He looks a bit lost as a striker but Sanchez has still started the season when you consider he has played out of position. On his more natural wing spot, he should be back to his best.
ST: Diego Costa
No arguments here, Costa looks back to his troublesome best. Constant movement, tenacity, when he is on form, he is a nightmare for opposition defenders. He easily beats Perez to the starting spot.
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