Chelsea v Arsenal: match preview
Cesc Fabregas ‘grateful’ to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte must decide whether to recall winger Pedro, who lost his place to Willian for Tuesday’s draw at Liverpool.
Conte also has the option of selecting ex-Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas if he opts for a more attacking line-up.
Arsenal hope Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will pass fitness tests, while Danny Welbeck may return after being rested in midweek.
Aaron Ramsey is likely to be out for three weeks with a calf injury.
Mohamed Elneny is still at the Africa Cup of Nations, while fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka remains suspended.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “Anything can happen. It’s important to keep the antenna very high.
“If someone thinks that the league is finished, I’m not so sure. I want to have this tension, this right tension.
“In the past I fight to win the title and I know we must pay great attention. There are 15 games to play and there are a lot of great teams behind us.
“We all know the real potential of Manchester City.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “When we beat them [Chelsea] 3-0 I didn’t expect them to win 13 games in a row.
“They have found a better balance, defensively, and they are very good in transition. I watched their game on Wednesday night against Liverpool – N’Golo Kante had a huge impact on their team.
“It is no coincidence they are in the position they are in, and Leicester were the same last season.[Eden] Hazard and [Diego] Costa have come back to strong form, so they are efficient going forward.”
Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in September was their first loss in 10 Premier League meetings (W6, D3).
The Gunners have lost their last four games at Stamford Bridge, conceding 12 goals and scoring just one.
Arsenal have not done the league double over Chelsea in the same season since 2003-04 – the last time they won the Premier League.
The Blues have won 13 of their 14 home matches under Antonio Conte in all competitions, including their last 10.
The only home game they have failed to win this season was the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool on 16 September.
They have won eight successive home league matches, scoring 24 times and conceding just three. It is their best run since a 10-game streak ended in 2015.
Chelsea have kept 13 clean sheets in the league this season, a joint-high in the top five European leagues with Paris St-Germain.
The Blues’ 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in September was Antonio Conte’s heaviest league defeat since October 2010, when his Siena side lost by the same scoreline to Empoli.
Arsenal have lost three of their last eight league games (W4, D1) – that is as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 30 top-flight matches.
They have conceded seven penalties in the Premier League this season – only Hull, with 10, have a worse record.
Arsenal have lost only two of their last 11 Premier League matches against London sides (W4, D5), both to Chelsea.
The Gunners have scored in 14 successive league matches, the best current run in the division.
Theo Walcott is one shy of 100 goals for Arsenal in all competitions.