Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas returns to Arsenal with his brilliance enhanced

Having played over 300 games for the Gunners, Cesc Fabregas this weekend makes his first return to the Emirates and the stats say he is a better player.

Sunday's Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium was never likely to lack spice, but an added factor this time around is the return of Cesc Fabregas to the stage he illuminated in a Gunners shirt over six years in the first team, many of which were spent as captain.

Chelsea approach the game with a 10-point gap over second-placed Arsenal and know a win will as good as secure their first Premier League title since 2010.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have the Indian sign over Arsene Wenger, and the Frenchman knows another defeat would be a bitter blow for the Arsenal faithful as they look back on a paltry trophy haul in recent seasons.  

For Fabregas it will be an emotional afternoon. He joined Arsenal from Barcelona's academy aged 16 in 2003, but didn't qualify for a winners' medal as the 'Invincibles' marched to the club's last Premier League title a year later. Fabregas left to return to Barcelona in 2011 but having played in the shadow of Xavi and Iniesta at the Nou Camp and on the international stage, last summer's big-money move to Stamford Bridge was a tough one for the Arsenal faithful to accept.

Any goodwill that was left when the trophy-less Gunners inevitably sold Fabregas evaporated when the club failed to fight for his signature and the 27-year-old midfielder moved to arch-rivals Chelsea.

Now Fabregas looks to have secured the Premier League title to add to his La Liga medal from 2012-13, and the player has been instrumental in Chelsea's imperious form all season: 

  PositionTeamMins PlayedGoalsGoal AssistTotal Scoring AttTotal PassAccurate PassTouchesUnsuccessful TouchAppearances
Cesc Fàbregas MF Chelsea 3,193 5 19 41 3,010 2,591 3,749 41 37

The figures from 37 appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League and Champions League show an outstanding accurate pass percentage of 86%, with just 41 out of 3,749 touches of the ball proving to be unsuccessful, a mere 1.1%.

Fabregas has been pulling the strings for Chelsea all season, and he has also been influential at the sharp end of the pitch. 41 scoring attempts is impressive, but 19 assists shows that Fabregas can deliver the killer ball to unlock the tightest of defences.

They are the figures that Arsenal fans feared and Chelsea fans will celebrate, particularly if another Fabregas masterclass takes the Blues a step nearer to the Premier League title on Sunday.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch