Predicted Chelsea XI to play Arsenal - Cole benched

Arsenal Emirates

Match to be played on Monday 23rd December 2013 at 20:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Chelsea have a great chance to close the gap on Arsenal when they travel to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho will be looking for a big reaction from his side after a scrappy 2-1 win against Crystal Palace last weekend and a mid-week defeat at the hands of Sunderland in the League Cup.

Mourinho has a couple of injuries to key players but Chelsea should be able to name a very strong side for the clash. Here’s the eleven players he could select to face Arsenal.

GK – Petr Cech

One of the most experienced goalkeepers in the Premier League. Chelsea and Mourinho know exactly what they are going to get from the Czech which is experience and leadership.

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Ivanovic is Mourinho’s primary right-back at the moment and he’ll slot in on the right of defence. He doesn’t have the same pace as other right-backs in the division but he’s a very clever player at both ends of the pitch.

CB – Gary Cahill

There’s a good chance Cahill could come back into the team after he was rested last weekend. He’s a much safer option than the somewhat unpredictable David Luiz and he should be determined to nail down a starting place.

CB – John Terry

Terry should play because he has the calibre and experience needed to help his team win big games. With Arsenal likely to play just Olivier Giroud up front, Terry doesn’t have to worry too much about his lack of pace.

LB – Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spaniard has done well when he's been asked to come into the team and Mourinho is likely to give him another chance. He's a very quick player and doesn't look out of place on the left.

RM – Andre Schurrle

Schurrle is a good option to play because he provides natural width. He’s been a little bit hot and cold this season but he works hard and in this sort of game, Mourinho is likely to value that work ethic.

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DM – Ramires

Expect Ramires to patrol the area in front of the Chelsea back four, getting forward into a more central position when the Blues have spells of the game where they are on top.

CM – Frank Lampard

Lampard will add that experience and quality in the middle, which is important considering Arsenal have so many influential and creative midfield players. Expect to see plenty of runs from deep positions.

AM – Juan Mata

Mata is not a bad option to have in behind the striker. He offers control in possession and the ability to set up good chances for the striker to score and this match may only come down to the odd goal.

LM – Eden Hazard

Hazard is very natural on the left hand side of midfield. He has a very good relationship with Cole down that side and he’s used to sticking out wide and cutting inside, making him difficult to keep track of.

ST – Fernando Torres

Torres should start because of his work rate and enthusiasm. He will try and make a variety of runs, occupying both Arsenal central defenders and looking to create space in the process.

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