With Chelsea hosting title rivals Arsenal this weekend, it will all come down to trying to outplay their fellow opponents in order to come away with all three vital points.
Both clubs are yet to register a loss, with the Blues topping the Premier League table with 16 points, made up of five wins and a draw, while the Gunners stand firm in fourth place with 10 points from two victories and four draws.
Based on the upcoming match, we take a look at the FOUR key battles to expect when Jose Mourinho’s side takes on Arsene Wenger’s side.
Given Danny Welbeck’s sudden rise in confidence, both Thibaut Courtois and John Terry will need to be on the top of their game if they are going to keep tabs on the pacey striker. The former Manchester United man has now notched four goals in five games in all competitions as he prepares to face a Chelsea side that has only picked up two clean sheets in their last six Premier League matches.
Having played together once upon a time during their Arsenal days, Cesc Fabregas will now go up against his former team mate as he attempts to increase his ever-rising assist tally. However, Mathieu Flamini will be the first defensive step the Spaniard will need to get by as he advances further towards the opponent’s box.
If the Gunners anchorman can halt the Blues playmaker’s creativity, he would have already taken a big step into making sure he breaks the midfielder’s link to the forward lines.
Another key battle will be whether the experienced Branislav Ivanovic can keep Alexis Sanchez at bay or can the former Barcelona winger exploit his opponent’s lack of speed. The Blues right back will definitely have his hands full given the form the Gunners attacker based on previous performances.
His determination and will to always win back the ball will give Sanchez an edge over his team mates as they try to open up the game by giving the ball to him. It then, becomes Ivanovic’s job to stop him doing just that.
Anyone facing Diego Costa will surely be cautious over his scoring abilities as the Spanish striker has already netted eight Premier League goals in his last six matches. Both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will need to be at the top of their game if they are to keep 25-year-old’s goal tally unchanged.
When Costa makes a break for goal, Koscielny’s speed will need to be called upon and when crosses come flying in from the flanks, the towering presence of Mertesacker will have to be there to keep the Spaniard under wraps.