Premier League heavyweights lock horns in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Venue: The Emirates, Saturday 12.45pm
Last season: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea. Tense stalemate at the Emirates.
Referee: M Atkinson
This season’s matches: 4, Y16, R0, 4.00 cards per game
Odds: Arsenal 11-10, Chelsea 23-10, Draw 23-10
CaughtOffside predicted line-ups:
Subs from: Martínez, Shea, André Santos, Walcott, Gervinho, Giroud, Coquelin, Koscielny, Djourou, Chamakh, Arshavin
Doubtful: Chamakh (illness)
Injured: Frimpong (knee, 29 Sep), Szczesny (ankle, 29 Sep), Rosicky (shin, 6 Oct), Sagna (broken leg, 6 Oct), Wilshere (ankle, 6 Oct), Fabianski (shoulder, unknown)
Form guide (league): DDWWD
Disciplinary record: Y2, R0
Leading scorers: Gervinho, Podolski 2
Subs from: Hilário, Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Romeu, Oscar, Moses, Malouda, Ferreira, Marin, Cahill, Bertrand, Piazón
Doubtful: Marin (hamstring)
Injured: Sturridge (hamstring, 29 Sep)
Form guide: WWWDW
Disciplinary record: Y7, R0
Leading scorers: Ivanovic, Lampard, Torres 2
There have been 108 goals in 40 contests between the clubs during the Premier League era, including eight in the Gunners’ 5-3 win at Chelsea last October.
Arsenal have won 36 of 75 home league encounters against Chelsea, who have recorded 19 wins.
Arsene Wenger completes 16 years in charge of the Gunners on Monday. Victory over Chelsea would hand him his 350th Premier League win as Arsenal boss.
Arsenal have lost just two league games in 21.
They play all four home London derbies in their next four league matches at the Emirates, concluding with November’s North London derby against Tottenham.
The Gunners are 10 places higher, have five more points and a goal difference of 15 better than at this stage last season.
If selected, Mikel Arteta will be making his 250th start in British football, while Andrei Arshavin and Johan Djourou could make their 100th Premier League appearances.
Chelsea’s only dropped points so far this term came in the capital: a goalless draw at QPR earlier this month.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men have not conceded in their last 331 league minutes since Danny Guthrie’s goal in August’s 4-2 win over Reading.
Frank Lampard has scored 98 Premier League goals in London. He can become only the second player to net 100 goals in the capital after Thierry Henry (133 goals).
If selected, Branislav Ivanovic will be making his 100th Premier League start for the Blues, while John Terry is one goal away from 50 in Chelsea colours.
Prediction: Everyone else seems to be saying 0-0 but here at CaughtOffside, we’re bold. Let’s go 2-0 Arsenal!
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