Arsenal v Chelsea - Saturday 17:30, BT Sport 1
Arsenal have won three consecutive matches in the Premier League now and look like a team on the up. Arsene Wenger will have been satisfied to see his critics temporarily silenced, with new signing Granit Xhaka following up his spectacular strike at Hull with another goal in the League Cup, as well as Lucas Perez scoring twice for the Gunners against Nottingham Forest. Their form has been a squad effort however, with Walcott, Sanchez and Iwobi all heavily involved in Arsenal’s victory over Hull last weekend.
Chelsea were also involved in midweek action but were handed a far tougher assignment against Leicester. They showed the fighting spirit Antonio Conte demands to wrestle the tie back in their favour having been two goals down, but not only did they have to play extra-time, the quality of opposition meant they were less able to rest as many first team regulars as Arsenal could.
One player who did come in and impress was Cesc Fabregas, who ought to replace the currently laboring Matic, after scoring both goals in extra-time to win the tie. The Spaniard isn’t a natural fit for the style of the coach, but though not the most industrious of players he adds assurance on the ball that others in this squad lack.
Chelsea will want to put last week’s opening half at Liverpool behind them and their head to head record against Arsenal will give them plenty of encouragement. The Gunners have only beaten them once in their last 10 meetings across all competitions, losing seven of these games.
This fixture is always a fiery affair, with three red cards in their last two encounters. Diego Costa will of course start whilst Granit Xhaka has already ben show a red card for Switzerland this season and has been sent off seven times since April 2014. We that in mind, we’re going to back a red card to be shown at 3.25.