Arsenal v Chelsea preview: Rivals set to be at full strength for Super Sunday clash
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 24/01/16 3:40pm
Arsenal host Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon with both teams likely to welcome back key individuals.
Arsene Wenger's side, who are joint top of the Premier League, expect to have both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil fit to face the champions.
The influential Chile international has been absent for Arsenal since injuring his hamstring in a 1-1 draw at Norwich in November.
The visitors, meanwhile, are set to have playmaker Eden Hazard available after the last season's double Footballer of the Year missed the last three matches with a groin injury.
"The last two days he [Hazard] was in full commitment with first-team training, so he is available," said Chelsea's interim boss Guus Hiddink, who is unbeaten since replacing Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in December.
"We have to be careful, because he has fallen into some injuries recently. I'm not sure whether he can play a full 90 minutes yet. We have to consider whether it's best [for him] to start or to come in."
The Gunners should welcome back Sanchez and Ozil, with the German having sat out last weekend's draw at Stoke due to a foot injury.
Mohamed Elneny is still awaiting his Arsenal debut, while fellow midfielder Francis Coquelin is back in training following a knee problem.
However, the new signing will not feature, nor will Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla (both knee) or Jack Wilshere (leg).
Chelsea are hoping Hazard and Costa will feature at the Emirates after the Spain international suffered a bruised shin against Everton last Saturday.
However, the striker is in contention to start, but fellow frontman Radamel Falcao (thigh) remains on the sidelines.
Arsenal have not scored in the last eight hours and two minutes of Premier League football against Chelsea.
If the Gunners fail to score against Chelsea it will equal their longest run without a goal versus any opponent in Premier League history (six games v Liverpool 1997 to 2000).
Arsenal have won seven and lost none of their last nine Premier League games at the Emirates, conceding just four goals in that run.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games against the Gunners (W5 D3), since Arsenal won 5-3 in October 2011.
Hiddink inflicted Arsenal's heaviest-ever Premier League defeat at the Emirates (4-1 to Chelsea in May 2009).
Three of the last four Premier League meetings between these two sides at the Emirates have ended as goalless draws.
Entering this weekend, Chelsea are on the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League (W2 D4).
Chelsea will be looking for their 50th all-time league victory over Arsenal in this fixture - they have only won 50+ league games against seven other clubs (Arsenal have 61 wins and there have been 47 draws).
Costa has scored five goals in five Chelsea appearances in all competitions under Hiddink; this after netting four in 21 appearances in 2015-16 before his arrival.
Hazard is still to score for Chelsea this season in any competition, recording three assists in 27 games.
After 22 games, Chelsea's league position tells you all you need to know about their season. They are where they are for a reason. Last week showed exactly where Chelsea are at the moment. No disrespect to Everton but the way Chelsea celebrated the 3-3 draw like they had won the Champions League speaks volumes.
I cannot see Chelsea winning at Arsenal, the best they can hope for is for a draw. If Ozil and Sanchez return, and Arsenal score early, I think they'll run away with it. I'd like to back Chelsea to get a draw but I have a job to do and I've got to be honest, so Arsenal will win here.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Sky Bet odds 14/1)