Remember back in September and October, when we all thought it was adorable that plucky little upstarts Leicester City were in third place and nobody gave them any respect or anything other than a heaping helping of condescension, while assuming that the "natural order of things" would return soon enough?
Well, here we are in late January, and, uh, Leicester are in first place. After their latest win, over a Stoke team that Arsenal couldn't beat - granted, that was an Arsenal without its two most creative players, but still - even the most biased observer would have to conclude that Leicester are for real. They may not win the league, but they are staying in the Big Club Club; I'm pretty confident that they'll be playing Champions League football next year.
But that's next year; this year, Arsenal need to beat Chelsea at the Emirates in order to regain the top spot from the aforementioned Leicester City. To help them do so, they're welcoming back Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez to the side, which is fantastic news. New signing Mohamed Elneny might see some action, too but this game came too soon for Francis Coquelin, who is back in training but not match fit yet.
Eden Hazard should be back for Chelsea, who have yet to lose under interim manager Guus Hiddink but also haven't really done much to impress. They're in 14th place, and I would like nothing more than for Arsenal to keep them there for another week.
Here's your @Arsenal team for today's massive #AFCvCFC game... what do you think, Gooners? pic.twitter.com/7R9Vqu1UPj— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 24, 2016
Chelsea team today: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Diego Costa. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 24, 2016
Chelsea subs today: Begovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek, Traore, Hazard, Remy. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 24, 2016