Chelsea latest: Arsenal key man out - not Jack, Guarin in London, Cole benched

Ashley Cole

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the upcoming trip to Arsenal.

The news that Jack Wilshere will miss the Chelsea match due to his serving of a two-game fan for flipping his middle finger may not prove too significant considering Arsenal's midfield firepower still contains Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, however, the fact that key centre back Laurent Koscielny is an 80-90% chance of being absent from the Gunners line-up against the Blues may well be a blessing for Jose Mourinho.

Forgot their 6-3 blip sustained against Manchester City in the north-west, it is no secret that part of Arsenal's success this season has been down to the vast improvements made individually around the pitch but also because of partnerships, namely - the flourishing one at the back, forged between tall German Per Mertesacker and game-reading Frenchman; Koscielny.

Boosting Chelsea's chances of obtaining yet another positive result at the Emirates Stadium under Mourinho, Wenger confirmed, as quoted by their club's official website: 'Koscielny is out for the game. It's 80 or 90 per cent he is out.'

This week, while Chelsea were attempting - but failing - to reach the semifinals of the League Cup, Arsenal dressed-up all fancy and enjoyed a festive party, however, there was one unlikely guest - Ashley Cole, allegedly.

At the pre-match press conference today, Mourinho was asked whether Cole would be on Monday evening, when the two sides collide in a pre-Christmas cracker. Jose answered: 'on the bench or at home.'

And finally, the latest on the Fredy Guarin to Chelsea rumour has real legs and may well be one of the transfers that occur in the upcoming winter window market. The Internazionale player's agent, Marcelo Ferreryra said on Caracol Radio that: 'We have been to London with Inter and met Chelsea directors to make their interest formal.'

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