Chelsea host Arsenal in a London derby at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, March 22nd. This game has the potential to tip either team into title contention. League leaders Chelsea sit atop of the table with 66 points while Arsenal sit in third with 62 points. There is not much that separates these two teams. Jose Mourinho cannot give up anything and will put out his best squad for this one.
Chelsea will be deployed in their classic formation. All five midfielders will need to have an excellent game to withstand their counterparts.
Goalkeeper: Petr Čech
There really is no reason to not play Čech. Any soccer fan would rate him in the top five active goalkeepers in the world. Without any injury, he will surely start.
Right Back: Branislav Ivanovic
There is really no one else who can play this position as well as Ivanovic for Chelsea. The former center back has molded into his new position seamlessly and has shown great form.
Center Backs: John Terry and Gary Cahill
Mourinho would have liked to rest Terry for the Galatasaray game but an injured David Luiz forced him to play the England veteran. Terry will make another appearance alongside Cahill. Both have grown to the reputation of Chelsea’s best pairing.
Left Back: Cesar Azpilicueta
Ashley Cole will be somewhat disappointed to not start against his old team. But the sheer pace of Arsenal’s front men cannot leave any risk to Mourinho. The reliable Spaniard will get the start.
Center Defensive Midfielders: Frank Lampard and Nemanja Matic
It seems as if Matic has cemented his role in the midfield, playing in mostly every game since rejoining the club. Lampard played against longtime teammate Didier Drogba midweek and had a strong game. With Luiz injured and Ramires suspended, this pair is almost guaranteed.
Left Wing: Eden Hazard
To counter Arsenal’s attacks, there must be speed. And with speed comes Eden Hazard. The Belgian still is Chelsea’s most valuable players and has proven his price tag.
Center Attacking Midfield: Oscar
Fellow Brazilian Willian has been suspended for another week due to a controversial red card. Oscar will make the most of this enormous clash of the titans.
Right Wing: Andre Schürrle
Somewhat of a less consistent player, Schürrle has bursts of attacking movements that can lead to assists or even goals.
Striker: Samuel Eto’o
The Cameroonian has been linked with age rumors and rumors regarding his future club, but for now, he has proven the doubters wrong and has continued to score goals.