Arts&Culture

Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil; Eden Hazard on bench for Chelsea

Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil; Eden Hazard on bench for Chelsea

Mesut Ozil has been ruled out of Arsenal's matchday squad to face Chelsea with a knee problem with Alexis Sanchez remaining on the bench as Arsene Wenger opts for a team full of running.

Despite winning the FA Cup in May, the heat is already being turned up on Wenger after the Gunners suffered two straight league defeats on the road against Liverpool and Stoke.

Chelsea - the Premier League champions - have been ticking over nicely since their opening weekend defeat at home to Burnley. This game will mark the first in 21 years that Arsenal will have to cope with the added pressure of recuperating after a Thursday game, something which is much different than the normal Tuesday/Wednesday to Saturday structure that they were used to under the Champions League format.

Antonio Conte, meanwhile, is still unwilling to risk Eden Hazard following his lengthy lay-off with an ankle injury - the Belgium global will start the fixture on the bench.

Miller: Sam Darnold, Trojans survive scare the size of Texas
However, those defensive concerns are mitigated by an explosive offense capable of simply outscoring every team on the schedule. It took two overtimes, but Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans pulled off an epic win over the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night.

The duo were completely rested along with five other players for the Gunners' midweek Europa League win over FC Cologne, but the Frenchman revealed that Ozil and Ramsey were carrying minor knocks. Furthermore, the Gunners have not kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in their last 12 visits.

Arsenal have lost their last five away Premier League games versus Chelsea, their joint-longest away losing run in the competition against a single opponent (also 5 in a row vs Man Utd between 2009-2013).

Conte has utilised a 3-4-3 formation in the majority of his games as Chelsea boss, with his decision to sacrifice a defender from an orthodox four-man back line paying dividends as the Stamford Bridge side continue to rack up the goals due to their additional attacking options.

Arsenal have earned convincing home victories over all their main Premier League rivals in recent seasons but have continued to struggle in big games away from the Emirates.


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