Arsenal and Chelsea do battle tomorrow in what promises to be a thrilling Premier League clash.
Ahead of the big game (and after much debate!), we’ve put together a combined XI from the two sides. Read on to see who does – and doesn’t – make the cut…
GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga
Not the toughest call in this list. Bernd Leno has looked shaky for the Gunners, while Petr Cech – one of the Prem’s all-time greats – is on the cusp of retirement. With 15 clean sheets in 29 games since joining, Kepa gets the gloves here with ease.
LB: Nacho Monreal
Marcos Alonso may be the bigger threat going forward, but we’ve chipped in with Nacho instead. The Gunners favourite offers a reliable presence at left-back, with his intelligent reading of the game.
CB: David Luiz
With a list of trophies as long as his frizzy mane, the 31-year-old offers a wealth of experience in our combined defence. While he does have the odd gaffe in him, for the most part the Brazilian is an imposing, talented rock at the back.
CB: Antonio Rudiger
More than a few top strikers have been in for a Rud awakening since the towering German arrived at Stamford Bridge. A 6’2” powerhouse at the heart of our backline, he adds some serious steel to proceedings.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
The man known as ‘Dave’ has had rave reviews again this term. Now Blues captain, he’s yet to miss a minute in the Premier League. Reliable at the back, he’s also chalked up a couple of assists in key games.
MID: Granit Xhaka
Okay, so he’s not the most mobile. And he’s liable to mistime a tackle by about three weeks. But – simply put – Xhaka has an absolute wand of a left foot. And with the next man in midfield alongside him, he won’t need to run much anyway!
MID: N’Golo Kante
The tireless Frenchman is one of the game’s best loved players – especially at the Bridge. With his inch-perfect passing and boundless energy, Kante was more or less the first name on this teamsheet.
Maurizio Sarri’s first signing as Blues boss was a familiar face – he’d worked with the 27-year-old for three years at Napoli. And it showed. Jorginho has slotted into the Blues side with ease, and does the same in our combined XI.
LW – Eden Hazard
Arguably the best player in English football right now, Stamford Bridge has been the Garden of Eden this term. With 10 goals and as many assists in the Prem so far, he’s directly contributed to half of the Blues’ league strikes.
RW – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabonese goal-getter has been lethal this season – especially in big games. He bagged an unforgettable brace against Tottenham Hotspur in December’s 4-2 win, and is currently on a sweet 16 goals for the season.
CF – Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman has been a bit stop-start this term, but is streets ahead of Blues flop Alvaro Morata. With nine goals (and seven assists) ahead of Saturday’s clash, this could be the ideal time to fire his way into double figures.
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