Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starts against Arsenal as Chelsea striker faces old club for first time | The Sun

EX-CAPTAIN Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang STARTS against Arsenal.

The Gabon international, 33, left the Emirates for Barcelona under a cloud in January as Mikel Arteta pushed him out after a series of misdemeanours but returned to Chelsea in the summer.

And he will take on the Gunners for the first time since his exit at Stamford Bridge today.

Plenty of the build-up for today's London derby has centred on Aubemayng – including in the BT Sport promo for the game, in which he said: "Arsenal, nothing personal. I’m back. I’m blue. I’m ready. Let's go."

Aubemeyang will play up front for Chelsea and will be supported by Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz in attack.

Edouard Mendy keeps his place in goal with Kepa Arrizabalaga injured and out of the World Cup while captain Cesar Azpilicueta lines up next to Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah in a back three.


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However, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Mason Mount and Marc Cucurella all in the XI, Graham Potter will no doubt have his side transitioning between a 3-4-3 and a 4-3-3.

As for the visitors, both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bukayo Saka are in from the outset after shaking off injury concerns as Arteta names his first-choice Arsenal XI.

Aaron Ramsdale is in goal with Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel and Zinchenko as the back four.

Thomas Partey is the No6 between Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka with Saka and Gabriel Martinelli supporting Aubameyang's replacement Gabriel Jesus leading the line.

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Victory for the away side would see them return to the top of the Premier League table above Manchester City, who beat Fulham yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, all of the talk on social media was about Aubameyang being brought into the Blues team.

One Chelsea fan said: "Auba brace incoming let's go."

Another added: "Aubameyang needs to show us how much he hates his former club today."

While a fair few called on the former Arsenal skipper to recreate Emmanuel Adebayor's celebration for City in 2009.

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But a Gooner wrote: "I hope our defenders particularly Gabriel don't give Aubameyang and Sterling a yard of space. Form may be down, but their class is permanent."

And a final user commented: "Hope the boys won’t be focused on playing against Aubameyang. Just play for the love of the badge and it should be fine. Take the 3pts, no matter what. Thanks @Arsenal."

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