Arsenal v Chelsea: Match Preview

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Football News

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is set to return to the Gunners' lineup after recovering from a virus.

Jack Wilshere is expected to play 60 minutes in an upcoming under-21 match, but the Chelsea fixture has come too soon for the England international.

Emmanuel Frimpong returned to the Arsenal team during their mid-week Capital One Cup victory over Coventry, and the 20-year-old is likely to be involved on Saturday.

Roberto Di Matteo has no fresh injury concerns, and Eden Hazard and Oscar are both expected to be reinstated to the Chelsea starting 11 after dropping to the bench on Wednesday. But Danny Sturridge is still out with a hamstring injury.

Chelsea captain John Terry is set to play despite being found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The Blues skipper has the right to appeal the verdict so any suspension will not begin until an appeal decision has been made.

Striker choice

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reveals his striker choice affects the style of the whole team.

The Gunners boss has rotated Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and most recently Gervinho in the central striker role, and he admitted his decision for Saturday depends on the style of football he wants his team to play.

"Up front affects the [whole] team," said Wenger. "Whether you have a more mobile player or a more [physical] player affects the passing of the team.

"We can be efficient with both styles, I even think we can combine the two which I try to do in some games. It is good, you cannot play a season with one striker."

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo insists John Terry is in the right frame of mind to face the Gunners, despite the guilty verdict.

"He's [John Terry] going to be available and from our point of view there are no changes," said Di Matteo.

"He's a professional player, he's a senior player as well. He's got all the experience in the world to be able to deal with a big game."

Key fact: In the last 33 Premier League games between Chelsea and Arsenal, Chelsea's record with Didier Drogba playing is W7 D3 L1, but without Drogba is W0 D9 L13.

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Didier Drogba
John Terry
Thomas Vermaelen
Anton Ferdinand
Premier League
Emmanuel Frimpong
Roberto Di Matteo
Jack Wilshere

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