Reigning champions host bitter rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this afternoon in what could be termed as a be a defining fixture for both teams.
Jose Mourinho’s side head into this game having restored their confidence with a promising 4-0 victory over Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv in he Champions League opener.
Back home, they are already six points behind their local rivals, not to mention 11 behind table leaders Manchester City.
The much awaited London derby is bound to be a lively contest as Arsene Wenger had already overcome his Mourinho hoodoo in the Community Shield last month.
However, the confidence with which Arsene Wenger would have wanted to take his side to Stamford Bridge has been severely bruised by a shock defeat to Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb in midweek.
The Gunners’ are yet to find an away victory against Chelsea in four years.
As expected, Arsene Wenger has restored most of his first-choice player back in after the midweek Champions League against the Croatian giants.
A big news for hosts is that John Terry once again just on the bench and Branislav Ivanović will take the captain’s armband this afternoon.
Gabriel Paulista retains his place in the squad and will be accompanied by Laurent Koscielny in the heart of defence while Theo Walcott gets the nod up front.
The French boss has very limited attacking options on the bench in Olivier Giroud anAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Santi Cazorla could be assigned an advanced role if the situation demanded so.
Jose Mourinho has a very experienced bench for a crucial matchup against the arch rival except Blackman and RLC. Summer signing Pedro is supposedly fit enough for a start after being sidelined earlier in the week.
Brazilian professional Oscar is back again as well, and Ivanovic is also there with the captain’s armband.
Both Thibaut Courtois and Willian miss out through injury.
Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Walcott.
Subs: Ospina; Debuchy, Gibbs, chambers; Arteta, Chamberlain; Giroud.
Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa
Subs: Blackman, Terry, Mikel, Ramires, Loftus-Cheek, Falcao and Remy