Ready to Cech-mate his former side

LONDON • With Thibaut Courtois sidelined with injury, this would have been a game where Petr Cech is between the sticks for Chelsea.

Instead, the goalkeeper will line up for Arsenal while his counterpart Asmir Begovic makes his full Premier League home debut for the Blues.

The two summer signings go head to head today, with statistics suggesting that Chelsea are missing the Czech international.

Cech has kept opponents goal- less in three of his first five league games for the Gunners. In contrast, the Bosnian has not kept a clean sheet this season, conceding a goal every 31 minutes on average.

Cech, 33, has also been superior in saves per goal, catches made and distribution. However, the only number that will matter to him is three points.

"I have never played at Stamford Bridge in the visiting team so it will be a new experience for me," Cech, who spent 11 years at Chelsea, said on the Arsenal weekly podcast.

"I go to a familiar place but most important for me will be to win the game. That's the way it goes.

"In a way, it is nice that I spent so much time there.

"That I know every corner of the stadium and the space so, for me, there will be no surprises.

"Obviously, it will be new to play against Chelsea but when you start playing the game, the only concern you have is 'can I play my best game and can we win'?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Ready to Cech-mate his former side'. Print Edition | Subscribe