Monday evening brings a tantalizing pre-Christmas matchup between 2 top table clubs with Arsenal and Chelsea meeting up in a London Derby at The Emirates.
Chelsea are set to have Ashley Cole available and fully-fit for the clash against his former club, although Jose Mourinho is expected to put the English on the substitutes bench to begin match
Branislav Ivanovic is also set to make his return for Chelsea following a One-Match ban, he will return at the Right Back slot, shifting Cesar Azpilicueta to the Left Back position
John Terry rounds out the list of returnees for Chelsea, with the only other absentees being Michael Essien due to Yellow Card accumulation and Marco Van Ginkel with a long term knee issue
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshire begins his 2-Match ban on Monday, ruling him out for the London Derby
Defender Laurent Koscielny is a major doubt for the clash following a ghastly gash to the knee suffered against Man City last weekend, while on the brighter side of things for the Gunners, Lukas Podolski may make his return after a 3-Month absence due to a nagging hamstring injury
Lastly, Forward Yaya Sanogo (back), midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all still out for Arsenal per Sky Sports
Jose Mourinho has a wonderful track record against Arsene Wegner’s Arsenal sides and I think that should continue on Monday night. There is no way that Arsenal will get bossed around like they did at the Etihad though, and players like Ozil and Giroud must contribute more heavily to the offense in terms of goals if they are to continue their title push. Koscielny’s injury limits them a bit in the back though, leaving them a bit bare and lacking in pace. Edin Hazard should be able to exploit this and Juan Mata, if he’s given a chance, could run rampant on the night. All in All I think there will be goals in this one, with a 2-1 decision going the way of Chelsea. Look for Hazard to have a big game against the Gunners, with Fernando Torres also potentially getting on the score sheet.