The London derby is set to take centre stage on Saturday as Chelsea will welcome an unbeaten Arsenal side at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners stretched their undefeated run to eight games after edging out defending champions Manchester City – who had been their kryptonite – at the Emirates Stadium before the international break.
Mikel Arteta’s men are currently second in the Premier League, sharing the same number of points (20) as leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who have a superior goal difference.
Elsewhere, Chelsea are gradually coming into life under Mauricio Pochettino, and they are arguably in their best state since the season started, having picked up three wins on the trot.
Chelsea vs Arsenal Match Preview
Arsenal’s morale took a hit after they suffered a shock defeat to French giants Lens in the Champions League. While it was feared the setback could have a bearing on their future games, the Gunners responded with a huge statement win against Man City.
After making a hash of their title quest last season, there were doubts about how they would perform this term and whether they could overcome their nemesis, Cityzens.
However, the answer was found in the early stages, if the victory against Pep Guardiola’s side was anything to go by.
One of the best EPL summer signings, Declan Rice, has seamlessly found his feet, establishing himself as an integral member of Arteta’s squad.
The centre-back partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes has been nothing short of colossal, with the duo responsible for Arsenal’s imperious defensive record – the least number of goals conceded by a team and also one with the most clean sheets.
Bukayo Saka continues to be the lynchpin in the attack as the world-class winger has carried on his fine run of form this season, netting five goals and assists apiece across all competitions.
However, the 22-year-old remains a doubt for the derby alongside Leandro Trossard with fitness concerns.
On the other hand, Chelsea will enter the game as the underdogs, but they will look to build on their late revival and try to surprise their London rivals.
Following a struggling start, things appear to be finally falling into place for Pochettino’s men with their upturn in form.
Starting from the win against Brighton in the EFL Cup, the Blues would follow up with impressive victories against Fulham and Burnley in the Premier League.
Nicolas Jackson, in particular, has been in a great run of form lately, scoring twice in the last three games.
In addition, Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling make for an exciting attacking line-up, and they have the potential to trouble Arsenal’s backline.
In Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, Pochettino has arguably two of the best young midfielders in the world, while Connor Gallagher will provide the cutting edge.
The Blues possess adequate quality and depth to beat any top side, but all that matters is translating it to the performances on the pitch.
Chelsea vs Arsenal Team News
Chelsea have been unfortunate with injuries this season, as their list is pretty stacked. However, the welcome news is Reece James is nearing his full recovery and is also expected to make it to the squad on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Arsenal have their fair share of concerns. Arteta has stated that Saka is working hard to regain full fitness following the injury he suffered against Lens, which saw him miss the clash against Man City and international duty with England.
Although there is no definite answer from the Spanish gaffer, Saka is likely to make his way into the starting eleven.
The Gunners are also sweating over the fitness of Saliba, whose participation is also far from guaranteed, according to Arteta.
Ben White might take up the place of the Frenchman, which would also pave the way for Takehiro Tomiyasu in the playing eleven.
Chelsea vs Arsenal possible lineups
Chelsea potential starting XI
Robert Sanchez; Malo Gusto, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Lewi Colwill; Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Connor Gallagher; Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling
Arsenal potential starting XI
David Raya; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli
We say: Chelsea 1-4 Arsenal
The Gunners are best placed to come out on top given their current run of form and also their dominant derby record against Chelsea in recent years.