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Arsenal vs Chelsea: Match Preview, 27th Dec 2010

Photo: Marc Atkins

After a short winter break, Chelsea head into the Arsenal match with some confidence. It is a confidence that has come about as a result of the 1-1 draw with Tottenham a fortnight ago. Carlo Ancelotti has been speaking ahead of the match that he needs to see the Didier Drogba of last season. Well, we all got a taste of what Drogba can do when he is on form against Tottenham and hadn’t he missed the penalty against Spurs, Chelsea would have won the match.

Before the game, Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the need to win the game, but with Manchester United winning last night, Chelsea must surely win the game and failure to do so will probably put Chelsea out of the title race. The biggest boost for Chelsea is that Frank Lampard is back and it has been confirmed that he will start against Arsenal. There are some controversies regarding the postponement of the Manchester United game, but it remains to be seen if the postponement has had an effect on the team.

The biggest worry for Chelsea though, is that Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are back for Arsenal, and they are the two main threats for the London rivals. The return of Cesc Fabregas also means that Samir Nasri will be looking to go beyond the last man hoping that a ball from the Spaniard will find him and more often than not, it does. Chelsea do have the history against Arsenal and have won the last five meetings without exception. Drogba has scored an impressive 13 goals in as many appearances against Arsenal and will he be scoring the 14th goal today?

My Prediction: Chelsea to win 2-0

Possible starting XIs

Arsenal (4-1-3-1-2): Fabianski, Squillaci, Clichy, Sagna, Koscielny, Arshavin, Song, Nasri, Fabregas, Van Persie, Chamakh.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole, Ivanovic, Malouda, Lampard, Essien, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka.

Kick-off time: 20:00 BST

Arsenal v Chelsea is shown live on: Sky Sports 1 (UK), ESPN (India).