Chelsea and Arsenal renew rivalries on Saturday afternoon as the two teams square off for the first time in this 2016/17 Premier League campaign.
While Jose Mourinho is no longer around to provide the entertainment factor, a clash between Chelsea and Arsenal is still tasty. Antonio Conte faces the first London derby of his Stamford Bridge reign and here is all you need to know ahead of kick off.
Arsenal v Chelsea, 24th September 2016
Article continues below ...
Emirates Stadium, Premier League Time: 17:30 BST, 12:30 ET TV: BT Sport 1 (UK), NBCSN (US), find your local TV station here
In disappointing news for Chelsea fans, Conte revealed during his pre-match press conference that club captain John Terry will not be available. The defender is still recovering from the rolled ankle he suffered against Swansea City and his targeted return has been pushed back by a week.
As a result, the pairing of Gary Cahill and David Luiz are likely to form the centre of a four-man defence. Conte has spoken about a switch to a back three, but he is unlikely to trial the system in this huge game.
Marcos Alonso equipped himself well, if not brilliantly, midweek against Leicester City. The Spaniard may relinquish his place to the experienced Branislav Ivanovic, but the Serbian’s lack of pace against a very fluid Arsenal attack is a concern.
There are no injury concerns in the attacking half of the field. Diego Costa is favourite to lead the line in front of a five-man midfield. Cesc Fabregas, after scoring two goals and impressing in the EFL Cup, may finally start over a struggling Nemanja Matic. The emotional aspect of this fixture could either drive Fabregas, or throw him off his game.
Michy Batshuayi fans will probably feel frustrated once again when the starting line-ups are confirmed.
Chelsea’s rivalry with Arsenal is one of the most entertaining in the Premier League and this is not set to change on Saturday. The Gunners will come into the game on a high, having been unbeaten in their last six competitive fixtures.
Nonetheless, the frailties of their squad have been exposed in this young season. Some late goals and comebacks have masked what has been a relatively mixed start performance-wise.
In terms of team news, Aaron Ramsey has fallen behind schedule in his recovery and will not be available for selection. Olivier Giroud, though, may be fit to start dependent on the results of a late evaluation of his toe injury.