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team news

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Pedro was early replaced by Tiemoue Bakayoko after 45′ as the Spaniard received a painful knock in the first half of Premier League clash against Arsenal today.

Pedro wasn’t 100 per cent fit and for this reason I decided to make this substitution for the second half – Conte said after the game – We have to check with the doctor but I hope this is not serious”.

The Spaniard has already suffered a facial injury with multiple fractures following a late challenge between him and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina earlier this summer.

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Eden Hazard came off the bench in Chelsea‘s goalless draw against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian star, who featured in the last 20’ of the second period, is recovering fast from a recent bad injury.

“The last 20 minutes Hazard played very well. – Conte noted speaking after the game – Now on Wednesday he will have the possibility to start the game against Nottingham Forest and then to complete his recovery. We hope everything will be okay after this game”.

Then Chelsea will face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday 23rd September.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is confident that his side will climb up the table as ‘the performance against Arsenal was a good one’.

“When you play this type of game, it is a massive game and you know very well anything can happen. – the Italian manager said after the game – We tried to create chances and win, both teams did”.

“We started the game very well, the first 20 minutes, and we suffered a little in the middle of the first half. But sometimes people forget that Arsenal are one of the top six in England. We know the type of game we had to face. Arsenal is a really good team, they are a strong team and have a lot of top players”.

David Luiz was sent off with a straight red card following a late challenge on Arsenal defender Senad Kolasinac: “You know very well that I don’t like to comment on referee decisions. – Conte said – I didn’t do this in the past and I don’t now. All I can say now is it is very important to see what happened before the David Luiz tackle; for sure there was a foul. The referee took this decision [to show a red card] but if he stops the play before, I think it doesn’t happen.

There was a foul in a continuous way, they continued to push him [David Luiz] and the referee, he has to use the whistle, but it happened and we look forward”.

Chelsea are struggling to finish one single game without a men sent off by the referee, as Conte remarked: “For sure it is strange but in all situations we have to try to improve; in the tactical situation, the physical situation and also we must try to improve in this situation, and also we hope to be more lucky in the future.

I was a player and it can happen this type of period when we were not so lucky to receive red cards. I hope to be more lucky with the decisions for us and also for the opponent because sometimes the opponent deserved a red card and instead they continued to play with 11 men”.

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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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A breaking news coming only one hour and half before Chelsea v Arsenal kick-off: Mesut Ozil is set to miss the derby due to a muscle injury.

The former Real Madrid star sat out the midweek Europa League victory against Cologne, with Arsene Wenger saying ahead of that match that Ozil would be ‘rested’.

As Sportsmail reports, the German midfielder will not feature in Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge as he is struggling with a muscle injury.

On Friday Wenger admitted that Ozil and Aaron Ramsey were both doubts, a huge blow for the Gunners who will miss a fundamental player for this important game.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea puts pressure on Danny Welbeck of Arsenal during the The FA Community Shield final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2017 in London, England.

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

 

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.

Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are both doubts, as Arsene Wenger revealed.

 

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

Chelsea Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Morata, Hazard.

Arsenal– Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Sanchez, Welbeck, Lacazette.

 

Kick Off – 1.30 pm BST

Venue – Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Referee – Michael Oliver

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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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