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chelsea

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Chelsea struggled in the last 20′ against Arsenal in a tough and vivid first half at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues controlled the game in the opening minutes and went close to scoring with Pedro at 23′, but Arsenal goalkeeper Cech made a strong save. On the other side, Aaron Ramsey seemed unstoppable as the Wales international danced past Azpilicueta and Luiz before hitting the post. Lacazette was ready to exploit the rebound, but his shot went wide.

David Luiz suffered a minor injury on his left hand following a late challenge just before the halftime whistle and came back with a bandage. Pedro out, Bakayoko in at halftime.

Alvaro Morata was booked while Wenger made his first change with Alexis Sanchez on for Lacazette, then also Eden Hazard came in to replace willian with 25 minutes left to go.

Skhodran Mustafi‘s opener with a header at 75′ was disallowed by the referee. Then Elneny replaces injured Welbeck.

David Luiz sent off following a late challenge on Kolasinac. As a result, Conte replaces Alvaro Morata with Andreas Christensen, who takes place in the centre of defense. Chelsea are pushing to find a late goal even though they are playing without Morata. Also Kolasinac is booked due to a foul on Eden Hazard.

4’ of extra time, with Chelsea trying to grab a late win. Arsenal struggling to create chances despite the one-man edge. The referee blows and the game is over: clean sheet at Stamford Bridge, firstborn draw of the season for Antonio Conte’s men.

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Manchester City are currently on top of Premier League table (13 points in 5 games) after beating Watford at Vicarage Road with a rampant 0-6 victory. Chelsea and Manchester United are chasing Pep Guardiola’s men with a game in hand: the Blues will face Arsenal tomorrow, while José Mourinho hosts Everton at Old Trafford as Wayne Rooney is set for a reunion with his former club.

Sergio Aguero hit an hat-trick, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus and Sterling all netted making things easier for Manchester City.

Newcastle United climbed up the table and are now level on points with Chelsea after beating Stoke City at home: former Blues’ winger Christian Atsu and defender Lascelles both scored in a 2-1 victory.

Crystal Palace are the first side in english top-flight history to open the season with 5 defeats and no goals scored as they lost against Southampton at Selhurst Park earlier this afternoon. Ruben Loftus-Cheek regularly featured and was replaced by Bakary Sakho after 78′.

Tottenham Hotspur remain one point behind as they grabbed a clean sheet against Swansea at Wembley. Good performance from Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham.

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TEAM NEWS

Chelsea

Danny Drinkwater suffered a calf injury and won’t be back until mid-October, after international break

– Captain Gary Cahill is back after a 3-match-suspension

Eden Hazard can start his first game for Chelsea in this season

Provisional squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Bakayoko, Moses, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Clarke-Salter, Scott, Eduardo.

Arsenal 

Francis Coquelin (hamstring) and Santi Cazorla (ankle) are out for this game.

Theo Walcott is a doubt after limping off against Koln in Europa League on Thursday night

– Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette rested against the German side but will all return to the squad at Stamford Bridge.

Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Mertesacker, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Mustafi, Bellerin, Nelson, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Wilshere, Coquelin, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette.

 

Possible Line-Ups

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Morata, Pedro.

ARSENAL – Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Sanchez, Ozil, Lacazette.

 

Little Stats

In the previous 191 matches Chelsea won 62, drew 54 , lost 75

 

Kick Off

1.30 pm BST

Venue

Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Referee

Michael Oliver

 

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Antonio Conte was full of praise when asked about new Chelsea signing Davide Zappacosta, who scored on his first appearance for the Blues in Champions League opener against Qarabag.

“For him it was his first appearance in the Champions League, – Conte pointed out speaking to the club’s official website ahead of Arsenal clash – To score a goal, you must be happy and it helps improve your confidence – all positive things. He scored an amazing goal. He was honest to say he tried to cross but during the game he had other chances to score, and don’t forget at Leicester he was very close to scoring another goal”.

“This is positive, and he’s a really good guy. Davide knew very well my idea of football and for this reason he was ready to start the game against Qarabag”.

Conte added: “He’s in a good physical condition. I was pleased with his performance. Now he has to continue to improve himself and to adapt to this league”.

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Alvaro Morata scored three goals since he joined Chelsea this summer from Real Madrid on an initial £58m fee.

His compatriot Cesc Fabregas recently noted that Morata only scored with headers so far: “If he scores with his head, his feet, his chest, his back it’s not important – Conte said – It’s important he scores and improves himself every day. Morata is a really good striker and don’t forget he is very young. He can improve a lot.

Despite being a young player, he has played with Real Madrid and Juventus. He’s won a lot in his career and he has great international experience”.

Conte added: “We are happy to have him in our team. We are trying to work very hard with him to adapt him to our style of football. For me the striker is very important. He’s a good guy and he wants to improve a lot and become one of the best”.

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Antonio Conte has confirmed this afternoon that Chelsea’s latest signing Danny Drinkwater won’t make his debut for the Premier League champions until the International break, following a calf injury suffered ahead of Champions League clash against Qarabag.

The England international joined Chelsea from Leicester City on a £35m move on Deadline Day, but he didn’t feature in the last Premier League game of the Blues against the Foxes.

Conte said“He had a muscular problem in his calf. I think it’s very difficult to see him before the international break. He needs time to recover.

“It’s a pity because he was starting to work and to improve his physical condition. Now we have to move all these situations. And in two, three weeks, four weeks, I don’t know.”

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Belgian full-back Thomas Meunier would like to play also at PSG with one of his team-mates in the Belgium national team:

“He’s very strong, Courtois. He wouldn’t be bad at PSG,” – Meunier told Le Parisien. – “We’ve already got two good goalkeepers but Thibaut also has the profile, I think. He’s very big – nearly two metres tall.” 

 

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“I think Arsenal are one of the six top teams in England and I think they have a really good squad to fight for something important, this is a massive game for us. – Antonio Conte said speaking ahead of next Chelsea game against Arsenal – It’s the same when you play again Liverpool or Manchester United or Totteham, anything can happen, we have to pay attention, we have to fight and play a good game against our rival”.

“I watched the game against Koln and I guess Wenger rotated a lot players, so I guess it’s not an advantage for them. Arsenal always play with 4 at the back and I don’t think they will change their system against us”.

Chelsea suffered 10-men defeats in FA Cup Final and Community Shield to Arsenal. Conte hopes ‘to finish the game with 11 players this time’.

“In the last two games we finished with 10 men and I hope this – he insisted – then during the game I think to do the best. For sure when you start the game you always try to keep the right discipline, in both situations you have to value very well if there was a red card or not”.

“Arsenal are a big rival in the title race and if you their squad you can see they got a lot of top players, I don’t understand why they cannot fight for the title, they lost only one player [Oxlade-Chamberlain]  and they kept all the players in their squad.”

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Speaking to Sky Sports, Arsene Wenger says he believes Sunday’s game vs Chelsea will be very important for the Gunners’ season.

Wenger himself believes also his team can perform better than they did vs Liverpool and they can get a good result at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s an important game for us,” – Wenger said. – “The way we deal with that on Sunday will have an importance on our season. But it’s very early. I’m confident that away from home we will get the points we want, but certainly mentally for our team it is important to play well and get a positive result. As always the key is to be much better defensively than we were at Anfield, and to be much more dangerous going forward. By not being too obsessed by our opponent and not to forget to play our football. Chelsea had a surprising early defeat but after that they have responded very well, to beat Tottenham and Leicester away from home. Overall since their first home defeat, they have played three difficult teams and won their games, so it looks again like they will fight for the Premier League.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, as we reported earlier, gave injury updates on latest signing Danny Drinkwater and Eden Hazard, who is recovering step by step from a bad injury suffered last season.

When quizzed about Drinkwater’s condition ahead of next game against Arsenal, Conte said: “He’s got a muscular problem in his calf, I think it’s not possible to see him before international break, I think it’s a pity, because he was starting to adapt to the new club and our idea of football.”

About Hazard: “The best thing it’s to make the best decision for every game, also trying to win because it’s very important, now there is another game against Arsenal, we have another day to check the physical condition.

“Hazard is improving and I think to wait it’s a decision that it’s paying, he’s very close to be fit, I have to make the best decision for the players.

Captain Gary Cahill is set for a comeback following a three-games ban due to the red card he received against Burnley: “Cahill came back against Qarabag and played very well, he had a good performance, – Conte said – I have another day to reflect and take the best decision for Sunday.

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