Chelsea extended their unbeaten run this season after a hard fought win against the very tenacious Sporting Lisbon side this week. The Blues are so far proving the pundits right as they sit on top of the English Premier League table, leading with 3 points.
The London club have showed their mettle this season, after win against difficult sides like Leicester City, Everton and Swansea, Jose Mourinho’s side is finally fulfilling the team’s amazing potential.
The clash against Arsenal will be very significant in determining how the rest of the season will pan out, as the Gunners currently trail their weekend opponents by 6 points on the table and a win for Chelsea will see them stretch the lead to 9 points. Which considering Chelsea’s efficiency in the course of the season so far, will be very hard to make up.
Arsenal are currently suffering from an injury crisis with Ramsey thought to have suffered a hamstring injury that could rule him out for between four and six weeks while Arteta is likely to be missing for the next fortnight with a calf injury.
Both players limped off during the first half of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham at Emirates stadium with manager Arsene Wenger ruling the pair out of both midweek clashes, and the trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
Jack Wilshere also suffered a knock to his ankle and was substituted after 63 minutes against Spurs. The 22 year old was assessed ahead of the trip to Galatasaray on Wednesday and should be fit for Chelsea. Although, Wenger’s choice to risk the midfielder for the midweek Champions League tie, may reduce his chances of featuring in Sunday’s title defining clash.
Abou Diaby according to the French boss is not ready, after only just returning to first team action after a cruiciate ligament injury, with Flamini being the only defensive midfielder available.
Chelsea will not face their London neighbors at a better time with Arsenal missing close to half a dozen players through injury. The likes of Walcott and Giroud, being other players missing from the squad, who could have been useful in a heavy weight clash of his nature.
The Blues also have certain injury concerns as Drogba and Ramires are both out for a couple of weeks. Drogba although a usually potent striker against Arsenal, never had a good chance of starting the tie even if he was fit to play. Ramires on the other hand would have been a nailed on starter, who would have moved into the pivot to offer defensive solidity and also free up the more attacking Cesc Fabregas.
Although its still early days yet, the Blues will be looking to extend their lead at the top, which will come in handy if they were ever to hit a mid-season slump. Arsenal will be looking to stay relevant in the title race and unlike Chelsea, didn’t struggle to win their midweek Champions League clash against Galatasaray as they ran away 4-1 victors against the side from Turkey.
The stage is set, for what is sure to be an entertaining and epic showdown.