Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview: Wenger and Conte meet in first Premier League clash

Match preview of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.

Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview: Wenger and Conte meet in first Premier League clash
Photo: Paul Gilham / Getty Images

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea resume Premier League hostilities this weekend, as the two meet at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.

The meeting will be the first time managers Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte have met on the domestic stage.

The Gunners go in search of a fourth-successive league win, whereas the visitors will be looking to bounce back after a loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge last Friday. 

First meeting for duo since 2002

For Conte, this will be his first meeting with Arsenal in a managerial capacity. In 2002, the Italian was part of a Juventus side that beat Wenger's men 1-0 in Turin, knocking out the visitors in the final game of Champions League group stages.

Conte captained Juventus in a 1-0 win the last time the Italian faced Arsenal (photo:getty)
Conte captained Juventus in a 1-0 win the last time the Italian faced Arsenal (photo:getty)

With Wenger celebrating 20 years in North London, the Frenchman will be seeking his first league win over Chelsea in almost five years.

That was back in October 2011, when a Robin van Persie hat-trick guided Arsenal to their first on The Kings Road since 2008.

Gunners seek fourth win in-a-row

After an opening day loss to Liverpool, The Gunners have slowly built momentum and are now unbeaten during their last six outings in all competitions.

The last time out Arsenal swept aside 10-man Hull City convincingly, in a 4-1 win at The KC Stadium.

Iwobi is set for his third start of the campaign after impressing versus Hull City (photo:getty)
Iwobi is set for his third start of the campaign after impressing versus Hull City (photo:getty)

With Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey both absent, Alex Iwobi once again staked his claim for a regular starting berth starting on the right wing, assiting both Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott's strikes and impressing overall.

As Ramsey continues to struggle with a groin injury, the 20 year-old Nigerian midfielder is set to start once more and could be an X-Factor that Chelsea have yet to face, this weekend.

Conte looking for a response

For the visitors, Antonio Conte will be looking for a swift response to their loss seven days ago.

In contrast to their opponents, Chelsea have stuttered somewhat. Following a trio of wins in the opening weeks, The Blues have taken just one point from a possible six versus Swansea City and as documented, against The Reds.

The Italian will be in more buoyant mood with the form of Diego Costa. Chelsea's lone-striking terrier is once more at the top of the scoring charts, joint with West Ham's Michail Antonio on five.

Conte will be looking for a response from his side at Arsenal (photo:getty)
Conte will be looking for a response from his side at Arsenal (photo:getty)

Wenger seeks to end Blues hoodoo

Arsenal are without a win in 11 meetings against Chelsea, losing six of the last eight league games versus the West London side.

Of greater significance, Wenger has seen his men go without as much as a single goal versus The Blues, since 2013. 

Last season, Chelsea completed the double over Arsenal for the third year running and have now scored 13 times, since when last Arsene Wenger's side bagged a goal against them.

To break their hoodoo, the hosts will also need to keep their discipline in the knowledge that in their last two meetings, Arsenal have had three men sent off.

Team News 

Olivier Giroud remains a doubt with the toe injury that kept the Frenchman out of the EFL Cup win versus Nottingham Forest, but Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out until after the international break with continued problems with a hamstring injury.

Defender Carl Jennkinson is over a month away from a return from an ACL injury, whilst the duo of Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are out until the new year. 

John Terry has been ruled out once more with an ankle injury, so David Luiz will deputise in his second game back at the club.

Fellow defender Kurt Zouma is nearing a return to first-team action, but is still a few weeks off. Midfielder Marco van Ginkel's knee injury keeps the Dutchman out with an unknown return date.