Thomas Vermaelen has admitted Chelsea’s new attack-minded style will cause Arsenal problems when the two teams meet at the Emirates on Saturday.
Both teams are unbeaten in the league so far, with Chelsea sitting atop of the table after snatching a late win against Stoke last weekend.
The Blues have so far reaped the rewards of their excellent summer spending, with new boys Eden Hazard and Oscar in particular proving to be astute purchases.
Arsenal’s new signings have also followed suit, with Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski taking the league by storm.
Vermaelen, who looks set to return to action after missing out on the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend, admits the likes of Hazard and Oscar, along with the threat posed by Juan Mata and Fernando Torres, means he will have his hands full for 90 minutes.
“They seem more attack-minded now, with players like Eden Hazard, O ar and Juan Mata all looking dangerous. Fernando Torres is a threat with his movement too,” he said.
“That said, they’re still based on the strong foundations that people associate them with - players like John Terry, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic have a lot of experience and make them very strong at the back.”
Vermaelen reserved special praise for international team-mate Hazard, who he believes has always been destined for great things.
“People talked a lot about him when he played for Lille, and understandably so because he’s one of the most talented players in Europe,” said Vermaelen.
“Chelsea bought him for a lot of money, but he’s already showed what exceptional quality he has. He can do a lot with the ball and has the ability to decide a game on his own, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him.”