MX23RW : Monday, September 21 17:21:26| >> :60:203:203:
Dec 29, 2019 at 2pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,309
Arsenal
1-2
Chelsea
FT(HT: 1-0)
Jorginho (83'), Abraham (87')

Combined XI: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the Arsenal and Chelsea squads ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal and Chelsea do battle in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as newly-appointed boss Mikel Arteta takes charge of his first match at the Emirates Stadium.

Having been appointed as the successor to Unai Emery, Arteta watched his side earn a share of the spoils away at Bournemouth on Boxing Day courtesy of a second-half equaliser from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, despite avoiding defeat on their travels for the second successive game, the Gunners sit in the bottom half of the standings heading into the weekend.

London rivals Chelsea are in fourth position, although Frank Lampard's team missed out on the chance to hold a bigger advantage in the final Champions League place after losing 2-0 at home to Southampton earlier this week.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads, using only players available for Sunday's game.



Combined XI: ARS vs. CHE

While Arsenal have looked fragile at the back this season, it has not been the doing of Bernd Leno, with the German undoubtedly keeping scorelines respectable having had to contend with the most shots in the Premier League this season.

Leno deservedly gets the nod over the inconsistent Kepa Arrizabalaga, and he is joined by teammate Calum Chambers, who we feel has been performing better than Cesar Azpilicueta of late.

However, the rest of our backline consists of Blues players as Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Emerson Palmieri are preferred to the likes of Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso.

The Chelsea trend continues in midfield with the selections of N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic almost no-brainers, leaving Jorginho, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira out in the cold.

Choosing the creative midfield three requires more thought, although we cannot ignore the recent form of Willian and the goal return of Aubameyang, making them logical picks on the flanks.

Given his extra work-rate, we would go for Mason Mount over Mesut Ozil, with the academy graduate more reliable when it comes to pressing the opposition defence.

That leaves Tammy Abraham and Alexandre Lacazette to battle it out for the main forward role, and both men have claims courtesy of their short and long-term form.

Nevertheless, despite going three games without a goal, we feel obliged to pick Abraham, who has 13 strikes in the Premier League and Champions League this season.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their first goal on December 7, 2019
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