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Preview: Arsenal v Chelsea
26 Nov 2009 - 14:41:21
London's finest go head-to-head for the first time this season when Arsenal face table-toppers Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Arsene Wenger's outfit will have a job on their hands if they are to get back to winning ways following their uncharacteristic defeat at Sunderland last weekend which halted their magnificent unbeaten run of 13 games.
However, if you had to hand-pick a manager to get a side back to winning ways, it would be Wenger.
Chelsea's title aspirations would be massively boosted if they could walk away with all three points on Sunday and, as they currently sit five points ahead of Manchester United, it would take a brave man to bet against Carlo Ancelotti's rampant Blues.
They have won their last four Premier League outings without conceding a goal but, with the attacking freedom Wenger's youthful side show, John Terry and his defensive team-mates will have to be at their best to keep them out.
With former Chelsea centre-half William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen likely to come face-to-face with former Gunner Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, this heavyweight showdown could determine where the game is won or lost.
Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin are likely to fill the hosts' midfield positions and they will come up against a selection from Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Joe Cole and John Obi Mikel.
With such world-class talent on display, the two teams can only serve up a feast of football.
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury alongside Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin).
The visitors have defender Jose Bosingwa in the treatment room until January with a knee injury while Deco (groin) and Michael Ballack (knee) face a race against time to be fit.