Walcott Starts, Arsenal Likely Line Up For Chelsea

Having beaten Stoke City 2-0 last Saturday, Arsenal were beaming with confidence as they traveled to Croatia for their first game of the Champions League this season, but they met the unexpected. The Gunners lost 2-1 to Dinamo Zagreb on a night which saw a jinx broken and a record set. The Croatian outfit were winless in 15 Champions League games before beating Arsenal, with their last win coming against Sturm Graz in September 1999. That loss also means a 50th loss for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in the Champions League.

However, the Gunners will be aiming to put behind the setback and stars who Wenger rested during the midweek will be started against Chelsea on Saturday.

Arsenal won their last two league games, while Chelsea – who have been alarmingly poor this season – lost theirs. The reigning Premier League champions are in 17th place, eleven points adrift of leaders Manchester City and 6 behind the Gunners.

Starters such as Bellerin and Monreal are expected to return to the Arsenal starting XI in the full-back positions. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech will also return to take his place in goal for the north London club.

Aaron Ramsey, who was also rested for the Champions League game against Zagreb, will return to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Francis Coquelin should also resume defensive midfield duties in place of Arteta. Theo Walcott is also billed to start upfront, meaning Olivier Giroud will have to settle for. A bench role against Chelsea.

Here is how Arsenal are expected to line-up: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis; Walcott.