Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was hard at work on the training ground on Friday to ensure his men were fully prepared for an Arsenal side he believes can ‘fight for the title’.
Chelsea welcome the Gunners to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with Conte’s side in perilous form following their 6-0 win over Champions League newcomers Qarabag on Tuesday.
An early blip against Sean Dyche’s Burnley which threatened to derail the Blues seems all but a distant memory, with Conte’s side following the result with four wins on the bounce.
But the Blues boss knows the threat Arsenal pose, having lost to the North London outfit on the last two occasions — the FA Cup final and the Community Shield last month.
And the Italian believes Chelsea’s London rivals will come to Stamford Bridge armed with a squad which is able do some damage this term.
‘Arsenal is one of the top six teams in England and I think they have a really good squad to fight for something important: the title,’ Conte said.
‘For this reason, it is a massive game for us. When you play against Arsenal, it is a massive game, the same against [Manchester] City, Liverpool, [Manchester] United and Tottenham.
‘Anything can happen and we have to fight.’
In the previous two outings between the two clubs, Chelsea have struggled with ill-discipline.
On both occasions, they failed to keep 11 men on the field and Conte said: ‘I hope to finish the game with 11 players.
‘When you start the game, you try to keep always the right discipline.’