By Babajide Olaitan
The battle has just begun. This, many say about a certain club that found a convincing win in the Uefa Champions League after a bad Premier league start.
Chelsea have a classic match with their London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and another chance yet again to show prowess as defending champions after a poor five match run.
Arsenal on the other hand lost to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia by 1-2 and would return to the league with a welcome by an away fixture against the Blues.
Both sides have not really shown class season- Chelsea with the worse result, lying at 18th position on the table, Thibaut Courtois the best goalie at Stamford Bridge his out of service for now and Asmir Begovic (although kept first clean sheet for Chelsea this season against Maccabi Tel Aviv) has not look so good in goal with is unreliable defence as it looks the moment.
Petr Cech is the new big thing at Arsenal but have not found his begining like a bed of roses and yet to give the Gunners that speculated 15 points- He will return to Stamford Bridge.
Going to the defence. Chelsea, most likely to have a great decision to make, Branialav Ivanovic and John Terry sat down tight on bench agains Maccabi Tel Aviv as Chelsea’s defence wore a new look with Cesar Azpillicueta taking his natural position from Ivanovic, Gary Cahil patnership with Kurt Zouma and new signing Baba, a sure test for Jose Mourinho.
Arsene Wenger would stick with a Hector Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Nacho Monreal defence which seems to be the Frenchman’s template this season following Per Mertesacker’s exclusion due to illness.
The midfield; Mourinho would prefer a Matic-Fabregas-Oscar-Willian-Hazard army of four with Pedro still doubtful due to thigh injury, Oscar too with a knee but its very hard to have. Loftus Cheek or Robert Kenedy start in the first 11 but John Obi Mikel could have another try.
Discipline: Yellow (7) Red (2)
Highest Scorer: Six players (1)
Form: Form WWDWL
Discipline: Yellow (5) Red (0)
Highest Scorer: Giroud (2)
Arsenal with Santi Carzola, Francis Coquellin, Alexis Sanchez, Metsut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey could be the mid-fielders as Jack Wilshere is out till December and Oxerlade Chamberlain not a regular starter.
Fowards. Lesser worries for Mourinho on options but its a 90 percent sureity for Diego Costa, Loic Remy is the next option as Radamel Falcao tied with Achilles injury for now.
For Arsenal, Olivier Giroud or Theodore Walcott, the Gunners need strikers real bad but Karim Benzema would not comply and Walcott for false nine? Not a superb option yet.
The clash is definitely the week match-day six opener and would as expected be thrilling. Wenger yet to defeat Mourinho in the Premier League.