Antonio Conte has not had the greatest success against Arsenal since taking over at Chelsea, beating Wenger’s collection of underachievers just once in five tries. While the first loss was a blessing in disguise as Conte was forced to rethink and reinvent and create the now ubiquitous 3-4-3, the second loss hurt quite a bit as the Gunners lifted the FA Cup. Our most recent meeting was a draw, just like in the Community Shield at the start of the season, which Chelsea lost in a penalty kick shootout (so we tried not to care too much about that). There was a summer friendly in there, too, but that matters even less. Plenty of room for improvement then.
Improvement is of course a constant theme for Conte, and it’s partly what has helped Chelsea rise to second in the league just as the calendar turned from 2017 to 2018. Part of the improvement we’ve seen has been some tactical tweaking, with Conte often switching away from the 3-4-3 to a more midfield-heavy 3-5-2. With Arsenal (and others) figuring out the former, is it time for the big-game 3-5-2 setup once again?
Everyone except David Luiz and Charly Musonda should be available. The injured duo should be back for the weekend, but not yet for this midweek test at the Emirates.