Arsenal can close the gap on chelsea to just four points with their fifth away win of the season. Chelsea will be aiming to go within the same distance of Manchester City.
Branislav Ivanovic v Theo Walcott
If Ivanovic starts in the centre of defence as expected then he could be seriously tested by the pace and trickery of Theo Walcott. Walcott is as quick as any other striker in the Premier League and he may drift onto Ivanovic.
David Luiz v Lukas Podolski
David Luiz needs to remain disciplined in whichever role he plays for Chelsea. Podolski plays wide on the left for Arsenal and will drift into the middle at times to support Walcott. David Luiz cannot let himself have any rushes of blood.
Juan Mata v Santi Cazorla
The battle between the two midfield magicians who like nothing more than to have the ball at their feet so they can unlock the opposition. They won’t be marking each other so this is a battle to see who can be more effective in attack.
Eden Hazard v Bacary Sagna
Hazard is possibly the most advanced out of all the Chelsea midfielders and the most likely to get alongside the club’s sole striker. Sagna plays at right back which is the area of the pitch Hazard occupies. Sagna has to prevent Hazard from coming into central areas and getting on the ball.
Demba Ba/Fernando Torres v Thomas Vermaelen
It seems to be a toss up between Demba Ba and Fernando Torres to start in the Chelsea attack with Ba the most likely to get the nod. Whoever plays will have to overcome Vermaelen, the Arsenal captain and the key figure in the Arsenal back four if they are to keep a clean sheet.
Do you agree with our key battles? Which match ups do you think will be pivotal?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald