The 3 key battles as Chelsea host Arsenal on Saturday
N’Golo Kante vs Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
N’Golo Kante was outstanding against Liverpool in midweek to once again illustrate why he is one of the best midfielders in the league.
There’s no coincidence that the two teams he has played for in England, Leicester and Chelsea, have both been top while he has been at the clubs, and his sensational efforts in the middle of the park look set to help the Blues regain the title this term.
However, the French international is likely to face someone slightly unusual in the Arsenal midfield on Saturday, with it likely that England star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will deputise in the deep-lying role.
Granit Xhaka is suspended, Aaron Ramsey is injured, and Mohamed Elneny is away on African Cup of Nations duty with Egypt, leaving just Francis Coquelin as the main man in that midfield area.
Thus, 23-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely come in and, although it’s not his natural position, he has played there before for both club and country, so it’s not totally alien to him.
Nonetheless, he will come up against arguably the best centre midfield in the league on Saturday, and how disciplined he is and how well he is able to break things up and give the Chelsea players little time will be huge if Arsenal are to get a result at Stamford Bridge.