Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Combined XI
In a week of football, which has seen both Arsenal and Chelsea advance in the league cup and Manchester United Boss Jose Mourinho threatening to “break Wengers face”, comes arguably the most important clash of the weekend between two London giants.
Arsenal and Chelsea both sit in fourth and fifth place respectively, both on ten points, with only one goal separating them. One of the first London Derby’s of the season, pits two of Englands top teams against each other. Arsenal will be looking to continue their run of wins, following a poor start to the season against Liverpool, whilst Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from a loss against the Merseyside club.
The following is what we believe to be the strongest XI of players amongst both teams:
GK: Petr Cech (Arsenal)
One of the toughest choices, both players are world class goalkeepers and rank amongst the best in the world in their position. At opposite ends of their careers, Cech just pips Courtois to our number one position due to the added experience and consistency he holds. Cech also won the golden glove last season.
RB: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
The dangerous Spaniard is full of potential and was voted as Europe’s best right back last season. His attacking threat as well as his ever-growing defensive abilities see him as an easy choice over a declining Branislav Ivanovic, who was one of the Premier Leagues worst players last season.
CB: John Terry (Chelsea)
A tough call, with Shkodran Mustafi looking to be making a strong start to his Arsenal career, John Terry makes it into the squad due to his vast experience, as well as being one of the greatest centre backs to grace the Premier League. With David Luiz being a wildcard, Chelsea will hope he can make it back for this weekends clash after his return to training this week.
CB: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
An easy call, Laurent Koscielny could arguably be the best defender currently plying his trade in England. His growth in stature has seen him become imperative for both club and country, leading to interest from the likes of Bayern Munich.
LB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Just making it ahead of Nacho Monreal, Cesar Azpilicueta has become one of the first names on the Chelsea team sheet. The Spanish fullback is a strong attacker and defender and his increased attacking ability lands him a spot ahead of his Spanish counterpart
CM: N’golo Kante (Chelsea)
After an immensely impressive breakthrough season at champions Leicester, Kante looks to be continuing his form in the blue of Chelsea. Hugely underrated, the Frenchman has an engine like no other and looks to be one of Chelsea’s most important players this season.
CM: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
A very different player from Kante, Cazorla’s return to fitness has been a huge boost for the Gunners and shows what they missed last season in his absence. His technical ability is exceptional, with his quick passing and evasive turn, placing him in the team ahead of Nemanja Matic and Oscar.
RW: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
The Chilean is a massive threat and is capable of winning a game for his team on his own. His constant running on the ball and tireless work ethic makes him a nuisance for any team he comes up against. Played out of position recently, he will hope to be dispatched wide where he is more effective, instead of as a striker.
CAM: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
The German playmaker can create something out of nothing and can change a game with a single touch. His class is unmatched and he faces no real competition for his place in this XI.
LW: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
The Belgian seems to have returned to form after a very disappointing campaign in 2015/2016. He’s become the threat he once was and will look to continue his resurgence in a huge London derby. Could be the difference maker.
ST: Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Eternally despised by Arsenal fans, the Spanish powerhouse has a knack for not only scoring against the Gunners, but causing them off field problems as well, as displayed last season in his battle with Gabriel. The Spaniard can bully defences and has returned to goal scoring form.