Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea are in fine fettle for Arsenal clash: Courtois

By Matt McGeehan

Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea are in buoyant mood ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Arsenal. A month on from their opening loss to Burnley and talk of a crisis, Chelsea equalled their record Champions League group-stage win with Tuesday's 6-0 defeat of Azerbaijan's Qarabag.

The Blues have two additional days' rest due to Arsenal's involvement in the Europa League against Cologne tonight.

And Courtois says Chelsea, after four straight wins, are in a good frame of mind.

"It is a good time to face Arsenal now," Courtois said. "Everybody is healthy and things are going well. We won at Leicester, won comfortably (on Tuesday night) and will go into the Arsenal game with a good feeling.

"We are doing well. After the bad first half against Burnley, I think all our performances have been good. We have shown good spirit, good football and good wins most importantly of all.

"Do we feel like we are in a good place? Yes. Sometimes it is good to face a big team early. Last year it didn't work out against Liverpool and Arsenal, but this season we have already won at Tottenham.

"Arsenal had a few bad matches, but won comfortably (against Bournemouth) last weekend.

"It's a big game because we are third. We want to close the gap (to Manchester United and City) and take points off Arsenal."

Captain Gary Cahill played for the first time in a month in the Qarabag win following his dismissal against Burnley. He said: "It's about building the momentum. Now we're heading into a big game. Everyone's ready."

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