Arsenal welcome arch rivals Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium this Saturday as both team prepare to renew their rivalry, albeit the Gunners in better form than the Blues.
Olivier Giroud (toe) remains a major doubt for the home clash against Chelsea and will undergo a fitness test ahead of Saturday’s evening kick-off.
Regardless of his availability, Arsene Wenger could well continue with Alexis Sanchez in the lone striker role. The alternative option is Lucas Perez, who scored his first two goals for the club in the 4-0 EFL Cup victory at Nottingham Forest in midweek.
But with the attacking midfield trio of Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott performing so well in last weekend’s 4-1 win at Hull, it’s Perez who may miss out on a starting spot, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Granit Xhaka has also pushed his claims for a starting berth over the last two matches, scoring twice but he may again start on the bench with Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin in the double-pivot in Wenger’s usual 4-2-3-1 formation.
The back four of Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal is expected to stay unchanged, with Gabriel and Kieran Gibbs providing cover.
Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson and Danny Welbeck remain sidelined, while Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) is unlikely to feature before the international break according to Wenger.