Chelsea at Arsenal Injury Report: Morata, Loftus-Cheek, Holding, Mkhitaryan

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In the Premier League weekend’s headliner fixture, Chelsea visit Arsenal looking to put more distance between themselves and their cross-town rivals in the race to nail down the final position in the top four. The fourth place Blues are currently six points ahead of fifth place Arsenal and one point adrift of third place Tottenham Hotspur.

With Harry Kane now out until March due to an ankle injury, the west London side can see a golden opportunity to surpass Spurs on the horizon. For the Gunners, a loss in this London derby would put them in a very deep hole that would make it quite difficult to avoid settling for UEFA Europa League qualification for the third year in a row.

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In other words, plenty is on the line here in this match day 23 London derby. Let’s look at the fitness assessment for both sides.

Arsenal have seen their injury crisis ease up quite a bit this month, but they will still be without long-term injury absentees winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan (broken metatarsal), defender Rob Holding (knee) and forward Danny Welbeck (ankle). Of course, the main story line here surrounds creative attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil, who was left out of the match day squad this past weekend despite being fully fit and training with the first team all week.
Flipping over to Chelsea, striker Alvaro Morata is a potential doubt due to a hamstring issue, but the Spaniard could be rested for this one due to an impending transfer.
He’s been desperately seeking a January exit/return to his native country, and maybe that will get finally get sorted by the weekend.

Finally, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out long-term for the visitors. On a side note, goalkeeper Petr Cech, a club legend for both sides involved in this match, announced his retirement two days ago. Go here to see some of the tributes he received.

There is chatter out there that Chelsea are considering bringing him back in a coaching role now.

chelsea transfer rumors

Chelsea at Arsenal FYIs

Kickoff: Saturday, January 19, 5:30 PM local, Emirates

Google Result Probability: Chelsea win 39%, Draw 28% Arsenal win 33%

Starting XI Predictions: Chelsea  Arsenal FC

Manager Press Conference Videos and Quotes: coming Friday

Odds via Bet Fair: Chelsea win 11/8, Draw 27/10, Arsenal win 19/10

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Prediction: Arsenal 2, Chelsea 2

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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