LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal passes his captain's armband to team mate Laurent Koscielny as he is shown a red card  during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on September 19, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Much has changed since their last meeting but the Arsenal vs. Chelsea rivalry remains as ruthless as ever

The big game of the weekend is the Arsenal/Chelsea London Derby taking place on Sunday. Arsenal and Chelsea last played against each other on September 19 that ended in a rather controversial 2-0 Chelsea win, That seemed like such a long time ago. It seemed like an especially long time when you consider how much these two teams have changed since then.

Since then, Jose Mourinho was gainfully employed at Chelsea and while they were 13th at the time, we all thought Chelsea had a slow start and would easily get back to the top of the table. For Arsenal, they lost the battle, amid some controversial circumstances, and resulted in another loss for Arsene Wenger against Mourinho but Arsenal had the last laugh as Arsenal is fighting for a title and Chelsea remains four points above relegation in 14th as Mourinho is out of a job.

So what does all this mean for this Sunday’s game? For one thing, this is Arsenal’s best chance to beat Chelsea for the first time in the Premier League since 2011. And not only will Arsenal have a great chance to win, they need to win to keep up their title hopes. Now that Manchester City is back in the hunt, three teams (Arsenal, Leicester and Manchester City) are all within a single point after 22 games. Arsenal will likely be getting Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez back from injury so that will be a colossal boost for them.

But on the flip side, Chelsea is reportedly going to have a couple of their players coming back from injury. Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are coming back from injury to face Arsenal. These teams will look a bit different come Sunday.

So who wins this all important matchup for both teams? The defining player is someone who’s familiar with both teams. Petr Cech has been in fire recently. Apart from the 3-3 draw to Liverpool, Cech has only allowed one goal in 2016. Last week, Cech and Stoke’s Jack Butland faced off to a 0-0 draw and it can be argued that it was Cech’s best game this season, stopping five shots. He will be the breakout player and will be too strong for a still struggling Chelsea team. It’ll be a 3-1 Arsenal victory and they will leave Chelsea with even more questions than before.

Phillip Bupp

About Phillip Bupp

Managing editor for 32 Flags, news editor for The Comeback and staff writer for Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me @phillipbupp, @32flags as well as @MLSTitleBelt, a project where the title holder must defend the title in every MLS game.