An unusual twist on a Chelsea Arsenal combined XI
FootyOn assemble a Chelsea Arsenal combined XI that all may move on by the start of next season.
The Stamford Bridge showdown between the Blues and Gunners this Super Sunday has a backdrop that both teams have failed to qualify for the Champions League during the last couple of years.
Arsenal played in the Europa League for the first time in over 17 years this midweek, having last contested the old UEFA Cup final in 2000.
Chelsea, meanwhile, made a comprehensive winning return to Champions League football crushing Kazakhstan club Qarabag 6-0 at home.
The Blues are odds-on 4/5 match favourites with betway for the Gunners game, while an away win is a 7/2 chance with Paddy Power and the draw a best-price 3/1 with BetVictor.
Given certain issues and contract situations, it is perfectly possible that both teams’ squads will under go major overhauls in the next 12 months.
In light of that, we present a Chelsea Arsenal combined XI with a twist; will any of the players we pick be there next year?
Goalkeeper: David Ospina (Arsenal)
Tempting as it was to select Czech veteran Petr Cech, given his connections to both clubs, he is just one of two Gunners goalies with one year left on his deal at the end of this season.
Colombia keeper Ospina is younger than his Emirates colleague, but keeps getting linked with moves to Turkey.
Being Arsenal’s cup competitions custodian is getting boring for the 29-year-old, so we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him move.
Centre back: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Denmark defender Christensen is under contract at the Bridge until 2020, having completed a two-year loan with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Antonio Conte has given the 21-year-old some first-team exposure this term, but Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill are a title-winning back three.
Like so many before him to have come through the ranks of Chelsea’s academy, Christensen may need to seek new pastures.
Centre back: Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)
OK, so this entry is bending the rules a little bit, because the plan is for Mertesacker to take a backroom role at the end of this season.
‘The BFG’ is in line for the head of youth development post at the Gunners when he hangs up his boots.
A tall and commanding presence, although Mertesacker lacks pace, he has a World Cup winner’s medal.
Centre back: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)
Since the signing of Sead Kolasinac and Arsene Wenger switched to a three-man defence, usual left back Monreal has moved into centre half.
The Spain international, 31, is out of contract in 2019 at the Emirates and players over 30 only tend to get one-year extensions.
A return to La Liga and his native Spain looks on the cards sooner or later for Monreal.
Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
Since steering the Blues to the Premier League title, Conte has signed two engine room operators.
Spain centurion Fabregas – it’s hard to believe he’s 30 – proved hugely influential last season despite starting less than half the games.
With his Chelsea contract expiring in 2019, he faces a big post World Cup decision about his future.
Central midfield: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Injury-prone Gunners midfielder Wilshere is set to leave the Emirates at the end of this season when his deal ends.
If only the England playmaker could get a break and stay fit, then he would be a real asset to any team.
Wilshere’s next move is likely to be one of next summer’s most interesting transfer sagas.
Right wing: Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Conte’s reinvention of Nigeria wideman Moses as a wing back proved a strong of genius last term.
If the Blues boss had such faith in the former Crystal Palace and Wigan Athletic man, then why has he signed Davide Zappacosta for the right-hand side role?
While 26-year-old Moses’ contract doesn’t expire any time soon, he has previously had three loan spells away from Chelsea and his place is now under threat.
Attacking midfield: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Like Wilshere, Germany playmaker Ozil sees his deal run out at the end of this season and talks have stalled.
He has proved more of a mercurial than reliable talent since joining from Real Madrid for a then Gunners club record fee.
Ozil could return to the Bundesliga, where he would surely not be short of admirers.
Left wing: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Chile forward Sanchez is the third high-profile Gunner whose contract is set to run down.
Arsenal face a very straightforward decision; sell him in January or risk losing him for nothing next summer.
Manchester City and Real Madrid are among reported suitors, while Sanchez is a tempting 21/10 to net anytime against Chelsea with betway.
Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)
It’s obvious that AWOL Brazil-born Spain striker Costa cannot remain at the Bridge.
His ugly falling out with the Blues, having fired them to the Premier League title last term, has been poorly handled by both sides.
Can Costa force a move back to former club Atletico Madrid? Watch this space in the winter window.
Striker: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
France frontman Giroud has accepted his reduced role at Arsenal with good grace and proved a pretty effective super sub last season.
As Wenger broke the Gunners’ transfer record to land Alexandre Lacazette this summer, Giroud can expect to remain benched and even admitted he was tempted to leave the Emirates.
Now 30, he will want to play regular first-team football going forward, so may seek a move before too long.
Eduardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal), Baba Rahman (Chelsea), Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott (both Arsenal).
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