CHELSEA V ARSENAL: 3 KEY BATTLES TO WATCH OUT FOR AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
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Arsenal's tough start to their EPL campaign continues on Saturday evening as having lost their opening match 2-0 to reigning champions Man City at the weekend, they make the short trip across London to face a Chelsea side that kicked off their season with a comfortable 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
The Gunners haven't exited Stamford Bridge with a win since they won an 8-goal thriller 5-3 in October 2011, but they will look to end that 7 match winless streak in west London at the weekend, but Unai Emery's side will have to win all the key battles if they are to try and pick up their first points of the season.
We pick out the THREE big battles likely to take centre stage and assess who shall come up on top in those specified duels.
**N'Golo Kante v Mesut Ozil
A World Cup winner vs a World Cup flop. N'Golo Kante and Mesut Ozil couldn't be so far apart in terms of the way they are portrayed by football fans and the media. Kante has become the most-talked about central midfield player in the world, as not only did he help France to a fine World Cup win, but his ability to break up play has seen him topple off his fellow countryman Claude Makelele as the finest in that defensive midfield position.
On the contrary, Ozil, a man who won the 2014 World Cup with Germany, has since become the most criticised player in the EPL, and for all his skill, trickery, and ability to unearth that killer pass he often flatters to deceive on the big occasion, and is usually at the epicentre of vitriol from Gunners fans.
Well, the pair are set to do battle at the weekend, and many will fancy Kante to emerge victorious in their personal war, as despite scoring Chelsea's opener at the weekend he showed his usual class in midfield, making 53 passes and winning possession three times. Conversely, Ozil was non-existent for Arsenal in their defeat to City, and only touched the ball 55 times in the entire match, and made only 37 passes, while he lost possession a staggering 19 times.
While Ozil is sure to take time to get back to full fitness after Germany's shock exit at the group stages, Kante appears to have just kicked off where he finished last season, so surely there's only one winner in this duel.
**Eden Hazard v Hector Bellerin
Maurizio Sarri only brought Eden Hazard on for the final 15 minutes in their 3-0 win over Huddersfield, but in that time the Belgian superstar was phenomenal as he instantly ran the show. A staggering 34 touches in that time just shows what a dismally inactive performance Ozil had against City, and while you can argue that Chelsea would have had a lot more of the ball, which is true, Hazard just showed that he's ready to light up the league again, and is ready to try and push Chelsea on to a title charge.
Sarri is sure to start him at the weekend, and he could face up against Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who was unable to deal with City's brilliance in attack last weekend, as the likes of Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez found life easy against the Spanish defender.
Bellerin has always been talked up by the Arsenal coaching staff and fans, but having started his Gunners career on a positive note he has just slipped in performance, much like the whole team, so it will be new boss Unai Emery to try and work with Bellerin to try and get him back to full working order, but if Hazard can emulate his fine cameo against Huddersfield then Bellerin could be in for a very tough 90 minutes.
**David Luiz v Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Out of favour in the latter stages of Antonio Conte's reign at Stamford Bridge, David Luiz appears to have a fresh opportunity under new manager Sarri, as he played 90 minutes in last week's win over the Terriers, but is expected to have a much tougher assignment on Saturday as he is likely to have to mark Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Still finding his feet in the EPL after his move from Borussia Dortmund, Aubameyang showed glimpses of his qualities at the end of last season, and scored 10 goals in his 13 top-flight games, so he is sure to improve immeasurably this campaign. He got very little service last weekend, as Arsenal chased shadows at times, but this will be his first chance to strut his stuff, and he could well give Luiz a test.
Luiz is known for switching off at times, so if Aubameyang can improve his sharpness this weekend then he can certainly unlock the Blues defence, and it would be no surprise to see the Frenchman net his first goal of the season, and win this private battle.