A big weekend starts with Arsenal top of the league, but that’s unlikely to be the case when the Gunners kick off against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
Last season’s champions have struggled this season but are unbeaten in six Premier League games since José Mourinho left the club. Nonetheless, they remain just four points above the relegation zone.
There’s no way the Gunners can take this one lightly and I think Arsène Wenger will go with the exact lineup that saw Arsenal beat Manchester City back in December.
Petr Čech will naturally be in goal for the Gunners, facing his former club at the Emirates Stadium. Ahead of him will be Wenger’s first choice back four of Héctor Bellerín, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal.
There should be a straightforward selection at the base of the midfield with Mathieu Flamini retaining his place. Mohamed Elneny is yet to make his debut in English football and it would be a big ask to throw him into this match. Aaron Ramsey will partner Flamini, offering a box-to-box presence in the Arsenal midfield.
Hard-working Joel Campbell should keep his place on the right and Theo Walcott should start on the opposite flank. However, Alexis Sánchez could be fit to play and – if Wenger decides to risk starting him – either player could miss out. Would Wenger drop Campbell and move Walcott to his favoured right wing, or take Theo out of the side?
Also returning is Mesut Özil, and there’s no question whether he’ll start or not. The best player in the Premier League will be vital if Arsenal hope to beat the current champions. Up front will be Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who has continued to impress lately.