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Chelsea, three days after beating Crystal Palace at Wembley to reach the FA Cup semi-final, are straight back into Premier League action when they host Arsenal on Wednesday. 

Although the Blues are unlikely to finish higher or lower than third, there will be little complacency from Thomas Tuchel’s side ahead of three games in nine days against the Gunners, West Ham and Manchester United.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have loads to play for, lying in fifth and three points behind bitter rivals Tottenham with a game in hand and Champions League football on the line.

So ahead of the Premier League clash, Sportsmail predicts both sides’ likely starting XI at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea and Arsenal will face off in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

Chelsea and Arsenal will face off in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

Chelsea and Arsenal will face off in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

The Blues beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon

The Blues beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon

The Blues beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon

The Gunners have lost three successive league matches after losing 1-0 against Southampton

The Gunners have lost three successive league matches after losing 1-0 against Southampton

The Gunners have lost three successive league matches after losing 1-0 against Southampton

CHELSEA (3-4-1-2) 

GOALKEEPER – Edouard Mendy

Kepa’s the cup keeper, Mendy’s the No 1. No doubt. 

RIGHT CENTRE BACK – Andreas Christensen

Despite apparently agreeing a summer move to Barcelona on a free transfer, the Dane is, perhaps surprisingly, tending to play ahead of youngster Trevoh Chalobah. His place is hardly certain, though. 

CENTRE BACK – Thiago Silva

Given a rest for almost all of the FA Cup win, the evergreen and elegant Brazilian will help marshal the Blues defence. 

LEFT CENTRE BACK – Antonio Rudiger

Big Toni, who else? Almost always excellent, in terms of both performance and durability. 47 games so far this season – and counting. 

Centre half Andreas Christensen (left) is at risk of rotation with Trevoh Chalobah but could play

Centre half Andreas Christensen (left) is at risk of rotation with Trevoh Chalobah but could play

Centre half Andreas Christensen (left) is at risk of rotation with Trevoh Chalobah but could play

RIGHT WING BACK – Cesar Azpilicueta

With Reece James potentially rested and not yet up to the physical rigours of wing-back after injury, club captain ‘Dave’ will keep his place. 

CENTRAL MIDFIELD – N’Golo Kante

Kante has been a bit off his game recently, but helped lock the semi-final up on Monday and remains a top-class operator. 

CENTRAL MIDFIELD – Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Mateo Kovacic’s ankle knock will keep him out for two weeks and Jorginho was criticised for slow play by Thomas Tuchel, who admitted the Italian has played a lot of minutes. Loftus-Cheek could be given a chance after a fine cameo at Wembley.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who scored against Palace, may get another chance in the Blues midfield

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who scored against Palace, may get another chance in the Blues midfield

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who scored against Palace, may get another chance in the Blues midfield

LEFT WING BACK – Marcos Alonso

With Ben Chilwell out after knee surgery and Kenedy and Malang Sarr not really viable options as wing-back, Alonso is pretty much the sole candidate. Has impressed in recent weeks with seemingly more defensive diligence. 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD – Mason Mount

Has a new trim and is looking confident on the pitch, too. Scored Chelsea’s second against the Eagles on Sunday and is a key cog for the team. 

STRIKER – Kai Havertz

This fixture was primed for Romelu Lukaku to return after he bullied the Gunners defence earlier this season. But a disappointing cameo against Crystal Palace – missing an open goal – will likely see Havertz battle on.

STRIKER – Timo Werner

Werner received player of the match in the FA Cup semi and is a willing presser, a hard worker and makes dangerous runs. With Christian Pulisic’s form inconsistent, he might well be in Chelsea’s best XI. 

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)

GOALKEEPER – Aaron Ramsdale

Ramsdale is one of the safest names on the team sheet and barring injury or illness, will keep the No 1 spot from Bernd Leno.

RIGHT BACK – Cedric Soares 

Although Mikel Arteta admitted in his press conference that Takehiro Tomiyasu is ‘very, very close’ to a return after 12 league games out with a calf injury, Cedric is likely to continue, at least for now. 

CENTRE BACK – Benjamin White 

White is prone to lapses in concentration like ‘pretending to be injured’ in the lead-up to Jan Bednarek’s goal in a 1-0 loss at Southampton, leading to criticism from Dion Dublin. But he’s 24 and will learn from those experiences. A long-term safe bet.

Right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu will be assessed and could replace Portuguese Cedric Soares

Right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu will be assessed and could replace Portuguese Cedric Soares

Right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu will be assessed and could replace Portuguese Cedric Soares

The defender has missed 12 league games after picking up an injury against Manchester City

The defender has missed 12 league games after picking up an injury against Manchester City

The defender has missed 12 league games after picking up an injury against Manchester City

CENTRE BACK – Gabriel

Like White, Gabriel has locked down his slot in the back four. A key defensive leader and gives you the threat of a goal or assist now and then too.

LEFT BACK – Nuno Tavares

After a horror show against Crystal Palace and a failed experiment with Granit Xhaka at left-back, Tavares was much improved against the Saints. He’ll get another chance. Kieran Tierney, out for the season after knee surgery, is a miss.

CENTRE MIDFIELD – Albert Sambi Lokonga

Thomas Partey’s long-term absence with a thigh problem has opened the door for the 22-year-old Belgian signed this summer. He looks neat and tidy at points but is not yet as physically or technically dominant as the Ghanaian.

CENTRE MIDFIELD – Granit Xhaka

Mohamed Elneny is out of favour and so options are limited to Granit Xhaka, respected by the players and (somewhat) trusted by Mikel Arteta. A vocal presence in midfield.

Young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe (left) is pushing for a start but may be on the bench again

Young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe (left) is pushing for a start but may be on the bench again

Young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe (left) is pushing for a start but may be on the bench again

Sportsmail predicts there will be no changes at all to Mikel Arteta's starting XI, fitness allowing

Sportsmail predicts there will be no changes at all to Mikel Arteta's starting XI, fitness allowing

Sportsmail predicts there will be no changes at all to Mikel Arteta’s starting XI, fitness allowing

Eddie Nketiah is set to continue up front following Alexandre Lacazette's Covid-19 diagnosis

Eddie Nketiah is set to continue up front following Alexandre Lacazette's Covid-19 diagnosis

Eddie Nketiah is set to continue up front following Alexandre Lacazette’s Covid-19 diagnosis

RIGHT WING – Bukayo Saka

Moving Saka around to right-back and left-back to accommodate attacking substitutes might make sense on paper but it deprives Arsenal of their best player in their best position. Stick him on the wing, let him play. 

ATTACKING MIDFIELD – Martin Odegaard

On a hot streak not so long ago, the Norwegian’s good form has slightly tailed off. He’s still deservedly first pick in the No 10 role but cover and competition would be desirable next season. 

LEFT WING – Gabriel Martinelli

One of the biggest question marks is over Martinelli’s inclusion. Emile Smith Rowe, so impressive so often, has struggled for regular game time despite his prodigious talent. The Brazilian will play – but Smith Rowe is knocking on the door for a start. 

STRIKER – Eddie Nketiah  

Eddie Nketiah, playing No 9 for Arsenal. It’s all he’s ever wanted, right? Trouble is, he’s only playing because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sold in January and Alexandre Lacazette has Covid. He’ll start until Lacazette is back, and no longer. 

Source: DailyMail Sports

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