PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH PREVIEWS: ARSENAL – CHELSEA
By Football Talk.
Here are match preview’s for tonight’s Premier League games involving Arsenal and Chelsea. If Arsenal match Chelsea’s result they will return to the top of the Premier League.
Aston Villa vs Arsenal – Villa Park – K.O 7.45PM
Arsenal start off a defining two weeks against Aston Villa at Villa Park tonight. Tonight’s clash is followed by Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in consecutive matches. We will know a lot more about Arsenal’s title credentials in two weeks time. 6 points must be a minimum target with 9-10 being a highly successful return.
“I have never known a run of four League games as significant as these in all my time here, never. Not four on the trot. It is a real coincidence that we have games – one after the other – that are all decisive. ” Wenger admitted in his pre-match press conference.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsene Wenger has received an injury boost with the return of Nicklas Bendtner following 3 months on the sidelines, and Samir Nasri who has returned earlier than expected from a hamstring injury. Both start from the bench tonight. Defenders Bacary Sagna, Willian Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen and Gael Clichy will all return to the starting line-up. Manuel Almunia will take up his spot between the sticks with Andrei Arshavin, Thomas Rosicky and Eduardo also expected to start.
Chelsea vs Birmingham – Stamford Bridge – K.O 7.45pm
Chelsea entertain an in-form Birmingham side that are unbeaten in 12. The Midland outfit held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at St Andrews on Boxing Day so will come into this game full of confidence. Carlo Ancelotti knows a good win is most likely to see his Chelsea side return to the top of the Premier League table.
Chelsea Team News:
Ivory Coast due Solomon Kalou and Didier Drogba have returned from the African Cup of Nations today but will not take any part. Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have recovered from knocks and should start.Juliano Belletti may miss out with a calf injury meaning Branislav Ivanovic will get the nod at right back. Jose Bosingwa and Michael Essien are both sidelined.
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