By James Strudwick

Garth Crooks’ has picked two Chelsea stars and a pair of Arsenal players in his BBC Sport team of the week.

The London sides dominate his defence, with David Luiz and Gary Cahill making up the centre-back pairing, and Kieran Gibbs coming in at left-back from the Gunners.

Since his sensational return to Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian defender has been a key part of the Blues defence that has now kept four Premier League clean sheets on the trot after their 2-0 away win against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.

So far this season he has averaged 4.8 clearances a game and has 84.4 per cent passing accuracy, which is providing some much-needed stability in defence for the London side.

Another player central to Chelsea’s tight defence is Cahill. The Englishman has started every one of Chelsea’s Premier League games under Antonio Conte and has firmed up the team’s defending after last season’s disappointing display.

Representing fellow London side Arsenal is Gibbs at left-back. Despite only playing in four Premier League games so far this season and three of these as a substitute, the 27-year-old has played well when given the chance.

He has provided width down the left side in attack, which was shown at the weekend against Sunderland when he assisted Olivier Giroud with the Frenchman’s first touch of the ball.

Rounding it off for the capital’s sides is Alexis Sanchez at striker. The Chilean forward picked up two goals in Arsenal’s thrashing of David Moyes’ men and worked tirelessly to help his team over the line.

Arsene Wenger’s move to deploy him as a striker in the absence of Giroud – a role which Theo Walcott was unable to fill, has worked out well for his side so far.

It has given the Arsenal boss a nice problem in what to do once the Frenchman comes back into the side permanently.


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