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Chelsea have to “expect the best Arsenal” on Boxing Day according to Frank Lampard, despite Mikel Arteta’s side going seven games without a league win.

The Chelsea manager shrugged off comments in the pre-match press conference about the Gunners’ form in the run-up to the game, highlighting that form is temporary.

“It’s not my concern exactly where they’re at, my concern is the team at face value in terms of quality and they’re a high-quality team,” said Lampard. 

“When you play a derby, form does go out the window and sometimes the idea of playing a derby is the spur that the team needs to try and get a result,” Lampard continued.

Arteta is yet to beat Chelsea in the league but defeated the Blues in the FA Cup final in the last meeting between the two sides. This fixture last December handed Arteta his first home defeat as Arsenal manager.

Chelsea are without Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Hakim Ziyech, with all three doubtful for the following game with Aston Villa also.

Granit Xhaka is available having served his three-match suspension and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be assessed having missed the League Cup quarter-final through a calf injury. 

Sub-edited by George Overhill

Click here to read the report from Chelsea’s win over West Ham.

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May 2024