Arsenal vs Chelsea: Martinelli, Xhaka set to return in crucial London derby

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Martinelli, Xhaka set to return in crucial London derby

- Mikel Arteta is due to welcome back a number of key players when Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates

- Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Bernd Leno are all expected to feature against the Blues having missed the Man City defeat earlier in the week

- The Gunners head into the Saturday tie without a league win in seven matches, leaving them dangling four points above the drop zone

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Mikel Arteta will be left with no choice but to name a strong line up when Arsenal host rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Saturday, December 26.

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Mikel Arteta is due to welcome back a number of key players when Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates. Photo by Catherine Ivill.
Source: Getty Images

The Gunners will be desperate to use the tie to return to winning ways, having recorded a series of poor results in recent weeks.

SunSport reports Arteta could welcome back Gabriel Martineli during the tie after the Brazilian shook off a shin injury.

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The winger had to be withdrawn during his side's 4-1 defeat to Man City during their Carabao Cup quarter final fixture earlier in the week.

Martineli was only making his first appearance in more than eight months after he overcame a career-threatening knee problem.

However, the 19-year-old has given Arteta a massive injury boost and he is well in line to start upfront with Alexander Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe.

Arteta will also welcome back Granit Xhaka following his red card against Burnley, with the Swiss set to partner Dani Ceballos in the middle of the park.

That formation could see Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin deployed as wingbacks.

Having been rested for the City clash, the pair of Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney are expected to come back, with Gabriel Magalhaes keeping his place at the heart of defence.

Bernd Leno will undoubtedly take his place between the sticks, replacing Alex Runarsson who was underwhelming in the Carabao Cup.

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Possible Arsenal starting line up vs Chelsea:

Goalkeeper: Leno

Defenders: Tierney, Holding, Gabriel, Bellerin

Midfielders: Saka, Ceballos, Xhaka

Forwards: Martineli, Lacazette, Pepe

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has stated that Mike Arteta should be given more time to help Arenal become a formidable team.

The Blues will be traveling to the Emirates ahead to take on 15th placed Arsenal on a Boxing Day fixture and Lampard's men do not have the luxury to drop points at north London.

However, the English boss believes Arteta can still bring the Gunners back to their very best if allowed to do so.

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