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- Laurent Koscielny returns after serving a 1-game ban for his rugby tackle on Eden Dzeko last weekend,
- Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were rested in midweek against Swansea,
- Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta & Lukasz Fabianski are all injured,
- Gervinho is away at the African Cup of Nations.
Predicted starting XI
I am not sure whether Arsene Wenger will want to start Abou Diaby for 3 games in a row given his recent injury problems, so you could see Francis Coquelin in central midfield. There is also no way of knowing whether Walcott will be on the wing or start as striker (in which case Giroud will be on the bench).
Because Podolski was rested I think that he will start. Otherwise I would be predicting Aaron Ramsey to start on the left wing. We also have AOC, who did start against City but was taken off rather quickly thanks to Koscielny.
- John Terry was on the bench against Southampton in midweek and could make his comeback tomorrow if he passes a late fitness test,
- Jon Obi Mikel & Victor Moses are both away at the African Cup of Nations,
- Yossi Benayoun & Oriel Romeu are both missing with knee injuries.
Predicted starting XI
With Frank Lampard apparently about to agree a pre-contract with LA Galaxy, it will be interesting to see if he keeps his place in the Chelsea line-up. The Blues do have David Luiz who can play in the center with Ramires, but surely Lampard is a player that they cannot afford to leave out? I also think that Benitez will chose to start with Torres over Ba. Torres only played 10 minutes against Southampton. Ba played the whole game.
- Arsenal have won away at Stamford Bridge more often than any other team in the Premier League. We are also the first and only away team to score 5 goals in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.
- Theo Walcott signed a 3-year contract extension with Arsenal yesterday afternoon. Hhis first ever goal for Arsenal was against Chelsea in the 2007 Carling Cup final.
- Chelsea have won only one of their last seven Premier League home games, while Arsenal are unbeaten unbeaten in the last five away games (W2 D3 L0).
- Chelsea have lost only four of their last 22 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions.