Now we get to find out. We get to find out whether Thursdays are worse than Wednesdays as far as recovery; we get to find out whether Antonio Conte’s assessment of Arsenal as a “big rival for the title” is just making nice in the media or if it’s true.
We also get to find out if Arsenal can finally start to dent their abominable recent record against what we used to call title rivals. If they can’t, if this game goes the way of Liverpool or so many other big tests before it, we’ll have to stop using the phrase “title rivals”, because that won’t be a thing, at all. If, however, they can win, or even grab a point, there may well be hope that this season can turn out to be more than the sum of its parts.
Arsenal at Chelsea
Sunday, September 17, 2017
5.30AM PT/8.30AM ET/12.30 PM BT
Čech | Monreal, Koscielny, Mustasfi | Kolašinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bellerín | Welbeck, Lacazette, Iwobi
Ospina, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Alexis, Giroud, Walcott
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Kanté, Fàbregas, Moses | Pedro, Morata, Willian
Caballero, Christensen, Rüdiger, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Hazard, Batshuayi†t