Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Chelsea are set to go toe-to-toe on Saturday evening at the Emirates Stadium in what will be an early season assessment of the pair’s ambitions of putting forward a title challenge.
Both sides have had both good and bad moments this season so far, but there is little doubting the collective quality in the respective squads.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 23, 2016
As such, looking at a combined starting XI between the two sides makes sense and the result is a side that would surely push the best in Europe
In goal two world-class options at opposite ends of their career. Chelsea sold Petr Cech to make way for Thibaut Courtois and as such the Belgian makes the cut here.
Hector Bellerin gets the nod at right-back, while Cesar Azpilicueta is preferred to Nacho Monreal on the other flank.
At centre-half, John Terry remains a crucial member of the Chelsea side and provides leadership that is currently devoid in the Arsenal set-up.
Where Gary Cahill and David Luiz are unconvincing partners for the former England captain, Laurent Koscielny would offer more assertiveness.
In midfield, livewire ball-winner N’Golo Kante gets the nod to play – despite the ability of Granit Xhaka and work-rate of Francis Coquelin.
Arsenal v Chelsea. The numbers… https://t.co/mTnTrpfgK6
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 23, 2016
Santi Cazorla’s passing range and ability on the ball would offer the perfect foil for the France international, with the Spanish veteran selected ahead of compatriot Cesc Fabregas and the more direct Nemanja Matic.
In the final third, Eden Hazard is a must on the left wing and his presence means Alexis Sanchez will have to shift to the other flank.
With Mesut Ozil the playmaker extraordinaire in the number ten role, this means there is no room for Willian, Oscar or Aaron Ramsey.
Up front, Arsenal lack a predatory striker like Diego Costa, despite his personality flaws, and as such the Spain international leads the line.
Arsenal-Chelsea Combined XI (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Bellerin, Terry, Koscielny, Azpilicueta; Kante, Cazorla; Hazard, Ozil, Sanchez; Costa