London: Arsene Wenger will be hoping for a picture perfect performance from goalkeeper Petr Cech when he comes up against former club Chelsea tonight.
Cech, 33, moved to Arsenal from Stamford Bridge in the summer having spent 11 hugely successful years with the Blues and Wenger now describes him as a “camera behind the team”.
The Gunners boss made Cech’s signature a priority and the Czech Republic international was the only addition to his ranks before the start of the season.
Since his arrival, Cech has claimed the record for Premier League clean sheets and has played a major role in guiding Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table. Meanwhile, Chelsea have endured a woeful defence of their title and sit 19 points behind their London rivals heading into their weekend clash at the Emirates Stadium and Wenger feels his defence has benefited from having such an experienced campaigner shoring them up.
“He has a calming presence, he communicates well, anticipates well, sees what is coming,” he said.
“He is a kind of coach. The best position to be a coach is the goalkeeper because he doesn’t move, and he sees everything. He is the camera behind the team.”
Arsenal could welcome back both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Sanchez has been missing since Nov with a hamstring issue and Ozil sat out last weekend’s draw at Stoke due to a foot injury. But the pair are expected to start against the Blues.
Eden Hazard and Diego Costa could play for Chelsea. Hazard has missed the last three matches with a groin injury, but returned to training this week. Costa suffered a bruised shin versus Everton last Saturday, but is also in contention to feature.