Arsenal will move above London rivals West Ham United in the race for a top four spot if they can come out on top when the two sides meet on Sunday.
Notwithstanding a late rally which almost brought a goal, the Hammers were thoroughly outclassed by a fine Chelsea performance last time out, but with this the first of two home games in five days, they will be confident of remaining in the mix going into the New Year.
Manager Sam Allardyce chose to manage his players carefully at Stamford Bridge as they found themselves unable to cope with the league leaders, but it should only be viewed as a minor setback in what has been a sublime season thus far.
Alexis Sanchez and the returning Tomas Rosicky inspired Arsenal to the win everyone expected them to get against Queens Park Rangers, but it was a much nervier affair than it should have been, with the R’s threatening an equaliser in the closing stages.
That was partly as a result of a rash moment from Olivier Giroud which saw the Frenchman sent off, and the late drama did not seem on the cards after a dominant first half. Giroud will now miss the next three games, which is a major blow given his recent form.
James Tomkins could return from injury for a West Ham side that could offer recalls to Diafra Sakho and Alexandre Song.
Danny Welbeck will play as the lone striker for Arsenal, who are unable to call upon Mikel Arteta, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.
Think you know your football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG’s