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Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea at Emirates stadium

Chelsea players celebrate a goal.

Arsenal will lock horns with their London rivals Chelsea later today at the Emirates Stadium in a potentially explosive encounter and the Gunners will be hoping to return to winning ways.

The Unai Emery’s side host Chelsea with the London rivals vying for a spot in the Premier League top four.

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Arsenal were beaten at West Ham last weekend, with Mesut Ozil not included in the matchday squad at the London Stadium.

The German could be in line to return against the Blues, although Emery remained tight-lipped over Ozil’s chances of a recall.

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“I’ve spoken to him because I want consistency,” he added. “He’s had some injuries and these injuries mean that sometimes he is okay and sometimes he isn’t okay. I want every player to give the same work everyday to be okay for every match. With Mesut it’s the same.

“He didn’t play the last matches but to me he’s just like any other player. This Saturday he can be with us if he’s okay. Now? He’s training consistently with his work over the past two weeks and I think he can be.”

On the other hand, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has warned his players to expect a tough examination when they face Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday evening.

Sarri’s team enter the weekend in fourth place and victory in north London would see them go nine points clear of Arsenal, currently fifth, in the race for Champions League qualification.

“This match for us is a risk and an opportunity,” Sarri said. “They’re really a very good team. [In] the offensive phase they are one of the best teams in the Premier League.

“We can be dangerous against these opponents, but we have to stay on the match. We have to defend with a very high level of application and attention for 95 minutes.”

Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata may start up front, if Sarri goes with a recognised striker, or Eden Hazard could continue in the ‘false nine’ role which the Italian believes makes his side more defensively sound.

Team news

Emery could welcome Ozil back into his squad after he was dropped for last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham.

The Gunners have no fresh injury concerns heading into the game, with Rob Holding (knee), Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck (both ankle) still missing.

With only Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back) out, Sarri has choices to make against Arsenal.


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