Chelsea captain John Terry is expected to play against Arsenal at 12:45 on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium as he has the right to appeal the four-game ban the FA have imposed on him after he was found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
Frank Lampard has been suffering with an ankle issue but is expected to be available for selection against the Gunners, whilst Daniel Sturridge is rated 50-50 with a hamstring injury which leaves Fernando Torres as the only fit centre forward in the squad. But Victor Moses reckons he can play in the centre if needed, he said:
“Changing position just comes naturally to me. I don’t really mind where I play — left, right, up front on my own or with another striker. I’m just versatile like that and I don’t mind playing anywhere in attack.”
The XI I’d pick for tomorrow’s game:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
J. Mikel – Ramires
V. Moses – E. Hazard – J. Mata
David Luiz seems to play better alongside Gary Cahill than when he’s partnered with Terry but there’s no way the skipper will be sitting this one out and the Cahill/Terry combination is one I’d like to see more of this season. Also, as it’s away from home, perhaps we shouldn’t risk a few rash moments from the Brazilian.
Lampard will likely be fit for this one and Roberto Di Matteo will likely play him, but I don’t think he should as the Ramires/Mikel partnership looked much more natural v Stoke. Ramires stayed behind when Mikel went further forward and vice versa, which is something Lampard doesn’t do enough of when playing in that position. I also don’t want to see Ramires played on the wing again, he’s a box-to-box midfielder and should be used as such.
I’d consider keeping Oscar in the side as he’s performed well when he’s featured so far this season but I would like to see Eden Hazard return to his best position and play Victor Moses on the right. Kieran Gibbs has had an impressive start to the season with the Gunners and I reckon the threat of Moses’ pace may help to keep him pinned back.
Torres is the only choice for CF once again, so he’ll have to play there. The Spaniard hasn’t scored a league goal for a month now and whether you’re criticising him or defending him, the fact is that he’ll have to start scoring soon or Roman will be getting the chequebook out in January (although I reckon he’s going to buy another forward regardless).
Arsenal have had a good start to the season and seem to be coping with life after Robin van Persie. Their defence looks more organised than it has for a long time, so we’ll have to take our chances. This is our first real test in the league and we’ll have to perform well in the big games if we want to keep top spot, and do so without Arsenal’s former nemesis Didier Drogba.