Arsenal confirmed XI vs Chelsea: Hector Bellerin starts as Shkodran Mustafi retains place

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Hector Bellerin is set to make his first Premier League start since December 5 as the only change from the Arsenal side that drew with Sheffield United at the weekend.

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Bellerin has made just three Premier League appearances this season as he continues his recovery from an knee ligament injury.

Aside from the Spaniard, who takes the place of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mikel Arteta has not changed his side with Mesut Ozil, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and Alexandre Lacazette making up the front four.

Sokratis (illness) has failed his fitness test after missing the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on Saturday. Shkodran Mustafi retains his place at the back.

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Sead Kolasinac (thigh) and Reiss Nelson (hamstring) are both out until after the Gunners’ winter break that will follow their game away to Burnley on October 2. Calum Chambers (knee) and Kieran Tierney (shoulder) are more long-term absentees whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is suspended.

With Arsenal 10 points off Chelsea in fourth Mikel Arteta is acutely aware that only a win will do for his side as they battle to qualify for the Champions League. “It’s really important,” he said in his pre-match press conference.

“It’s very, very important for us to win this game to fight for that. Also, the game we played at home, it could have made a big difference and we were very close to it.

“We need to win.”

Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka; Xhaka, Torreira; Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli; Lacazette



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