Aubameyang out, Nketiah, Smith Rowe and Martinelli in for Arsenal as Arteta has big decisions and Lampard must pick between Giroud and Abraham for Chelsea

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Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates this Boxing Day – live on talkSPORT – with Mikel Arteta’s job well and truly on the line.

The Gunners are winless in their last seven Premier League games and hover four points above the relegation zone in 15th, with almost half of the season completed.

Arteta’s position is under increased scrutiny

AFP

Arteta’s position is under increased scrutiny

To make matters worse, they just got dumped out of the Carabao Cup through a 4-1 thrashing at home to Man City – and it’s no exaggeration to say the visit of Chelsea could spell the end for Arteta.

In a desperate bid to save his job, the Spaniard has been urged by pundits and supporters alike to drop his under-performing senior players, like Willian, and throw in talented youngsters who will fight for the club.

Simon Jordan told talkSPORT on Tuesday: “I know I made the observation that ultimately managers get themselves sacked. But this group of players will get him sacked.

Pepe is among the senior players being criticised for their output

Getty Images – Getty

Pepe is among the senior players being criticised for their output

“I am looking at their performances, I am looking at what they are putting out on the pitch and I think they are cheating, some of these players.

“They are cheating the club and they are cheating their manager.”

Chelsea returned to winning ways in their 3-0 victory over West Ham on Monday night, although the scoreline did flatter Frank Lampard’s men.

One major positive was Tammy Abraham’s brace, which came after a barren spell for the England international.

It does, however, give Lampard a headache, with Olivier Giroud also in fine form and probably desperate to play against his former club.

It will be difficult for Lampard to snub Giroud

Getty – Pool

It will be difficult for Lampard to snub Giroud

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Team news

Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a major doubt for the clash due to his calf injury, and summer signing Thomas Partey is definitely out with a muscular problem.

Arteta will be able to call upon Granit Xhaka, who served the final match of his suspension during the Man City game, while Gabriel Martinelli is set to be available after the injury he picked up in that match proved to be nothing serious.

Xhaka can return after his red against Burnley

AFP

Xhaka can return after his red against Burnley

Chelsea are suffering a minor injury crisis just at the wrong time as they go into the hectic festive schedule with a number of players already struggling.

Lampard revealed that Hakim Ziyech is definitely out of their game against the Gunners on Saturday.

Full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell are also both struggling ahead of the Arsenal clash.

How Arsenal should line up

How Chelsea should line up


Arsenal vs Chelsea at 17:30 is one of the FOUR live Premier League matches on talkSPORT this Boxing Day!





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