Arsenal make the short trip to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea look to rebound from a tough loss in a key Premier League match on Saturday.
The Blues were dealt a 1-0 loss by Queens Park Rangers, and will be facing an Arsenal squad that is growing in confidence.
After a disappointing start to the season, Arsenal have won three of their last four Premier League games, and have been particularly sharp in Champions League. The Gunners will host Marseille on Tuesday, but certainly won't be overlooking their London rivals as they attempt to make up ground in the EPL table.
The two clubs split the season series last year, while Chelsea defeated Arsenal, 2-0, in the last meeting at Stamford Bridge, a stadium that has received media attention this week.
In what was described as an emotionally charged gathering, owner Roman Abramovich and his board failed to receive the 75-percent vote needed from shareholders as the Chelsea Pitch Owners company rejected a proposal to buy back the land upon which Stamford Bridge is built, which serves a precursor to move to a new stadium.
Chelsea are also dealing with an off-the-field problem involving their captain. Contentious centre back John Terry was accused of using a racial slur by Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry has vehemently denied that he made the slur, and has called it a misunderstanding.
Arsenal aren't exactly in a comfortable position at the moment, either. Star striker Robin van Persie has been involved in speculation that he could move on from the club this summer after the high-profile departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Van Persie has confirmed his dedication to the club, but his contract is up in 2013, and contract talks have only recently been confirmed. The potential loss of van Persie, considering his current exceptional form, would be an enormous blow to the organization that has a fan base questioning the competence of management.
On Thursday, a shareholder asked for the resignation of chairman Peter Hill-Wood and the return of David Dein, the former vice?chairman. The comment drew applause, much to the chagrin of majority owner Stan Kroenke.
Perhaps a strong showing on Saturday will be just the morale boost both clubs need to overcome these public setbacks.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger received some positive news with the return of injury-prone defender Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian star played 84 minutes in Tuesday's Carling Cup match against Bolton, but has missed seven Premier League matches this season, after missing 33 last year.
Wenger will continue to be without Jack Wilshere, who is expected to be sidelined until February, and Bacary Sagna, who should be inactive until January. Defenders Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson will also be unavailable.
Chelsea will be without suspended forward Didier Drogba, but manager Andre Villas-Boas will have forward Fernando Torres in his place.
The key matchup will be how defender David Luiz performs against van Persie. The Gunners' striker is clearly the most dominating attacking player on either squad, and Chelsea defenders will likely place a strong focus on containing him.
History is on the Blues' side. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League home London derby matches, winning each of the last nine.
D: Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
M: Mikel, Lampard, Meireles, Mata
F: Torres, Sturridge
D: Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos
M: Arteta, Song, Ramsey
F: Gervinho, Van Persie, Walcott
PREDICTION: Arsenal will continue their fine form and put together a solid attack that isn't intent on finding the perfect goal, while Vermaelen should be a big boost. Chelsea can expect to get a strong performance from midfielder Juan Mata, who was courted by Arsenal in the summer before moving to Stamford Bridge. Though Chelsea are great at Stamford Bridge, and Arsenal are weak on the road, this is an improved Gunners squad who appear far less error prone. This will be a tight contest, and should be decided by the better midfield.
PREDICTED SCORE: Chelsea 2, Arsenal 2.