Connect in the back of the net

Arsenal are unbeaten since their opening day defeat to Liverpool.

On Saturday evening, they will hope to add to their streak by registering their second London derby win of the season with a victory over local rivals and fellow-title contenders in Chelsea.

On the other hand, Chelsea, who had been on a winning run of four games, are now looking for only their second victory in four games after drawing with Swansea City and losing to Liverpool at home.

Neither side can afford to not claim all three points as Manchester City can then establish an eight-point lead, provided they win against 15th-placed Swansea on the same day.


Will Granit Xhaka earn a start?

Granit Xhaka announced himself swiftly after making his debut, courtesy of his knack for interceptions and pinpoint long balls.

His two stunners in three days now mean he has furthered his first-team credentials.

With Aaron Ramsey sidelined for the weekend’s game, he now boasts a good chance of starting against the Blues.

However, with Francis Coquelin producing an impressive performance against Hull City last weekend, his place in the starting lineup is far from assured.


Will Alexis Sanchez start upfront again?

Olivier Giroud has not started a competitive game for the London club this season, and fans are already losing patience with Arsene Wenger’s decision to start the club’s best winger at number nine.

Having played just 67 minutes so far, the French striker should be far from being fully fit to start a game that is as intense as the Saturday’s game.

In addition, his recent recovery from an ankle injury only puts him further away from the starting line-up.

Accordingly, the Chilean winger will likely spearhead the lineup yet again as Lucas Perez, despite claiming a brace against Nottingham Forest, cannot be deemed ready to start against Antonio Conte’s men.


Will Cesc Fabregas be in the lineup?

Cesc Fabregas’ lack of pace and aggression has reduced him to zero Premier League starts this season.

However, Liverpool exposed Chelsea’s lack of a midfield presence who, when being relentlessly pressed, could orchestrate the play.

The former Arsenal man provides the solution to that issue.

However, with the Gunners proving ineffective against a physical defensive midfielder, N’Golo Kante may still keep his place.

Conte’s team selection is, thus, something football enthusiasts are excited about.


Does Alex Iwobi’s form warrant a start?

Alex Iwobi had a nightmarish start to his season as he clearly struggled in his first two starts, against Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

The player himself admitted his dip through a Snapchat story; however, he retaliated with a fine display against the Tigers last weekend, creating two assists as he established a good partnership with the rest of the front three.

However, with Perez and Theo Walcott both in good form, he may find himself on the bench.

If he does manage a start, though, how he performs against Cesar Azpilicueta can decide how many starts he goes on to muster this season.


Will Arsenal register their fourth win in a row?

After failing to win against two title contenders in Liverpool and Leicester, Wenger’s men registered three back-to-back wins against less than stellar opponents in Watford, Southampton and Hull.

Whether they can extend their winning run can decide how far they go in the title race as Chelsea are the only real threat they are facing in the league since salvaging a point against the defending champions last month.


Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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