Arsenal can jump back to the top of the Premier League table and get a monkey off their back with a win today against London rivals Chelsea as the two square off from the Emirates live on NBCSN and live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
The Gunners have not won any of their last eight meetings with Chelsea, which was often tabbed as Arsene Wenger‘s inferiority to Jose Mourinho. But with Mourinho gone, the streak remains coming into today.
Arsenal hasn’t even scored against the Blues in 428 minutes, but Chelsea’s defensive superiority over the Premier League is long since forgotten. The defending champions sit in 14th in the Premier League table, just four points above the relegation zone. They’ve conceded 34 goals this season, more than anybody above them in the table.
Wenger has been forced to work around a number of injuries to influential players in his squad this season, but those problems will ease soon. Mesut Ozil returns today to the starting lineup, while Alexis Sanchez is back in the squad and on the bench looking to return for the first time since November 29. Francis Coquelin is not fit enough for today’s squad, but could be in contention to return for the FA Cup match midweek. Santi Cazorla is still out about another month.
For Chelsea, they have a similar situation as Eden Hazard returns to the squad from his injury troubles, on the bench and ready to play should he be needed. Diego Costa starts up front despite his fitness issues, with Loic Remy backing him up among the substitutes.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Campbell, Özil, Walcott; Giroud.
Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Chambers, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez.