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Arsenal vs. Chelsea: How Thomas Vermaelen's Return Impacts Matchup

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between  Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on August 18, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2012

There's nothing worse than being without your leader or captain, but Arsenal will no longer have to worry about that when it takes on rival Chelsea on Saturday.

According to the U.K.'s Mirror, captain Thomas Vermaelen will return to the lineup for Arsenal after battling a virus that saw him miss the 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

Arsenal made the announcement official via Twitter:

TEAM NEWS: Vermaelen available for selection, Sagna is back in full training but won't figure against Chelsea #AFCvCFC

— (@Arsenal) September 27, 2012

Vermaelen's return probably send Per Mertesacker to the bench, meaning Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny will reunite as the center back pairing that has performed admirably together. 

As the leader and influential defender of the Gunners, this is certainly good news for Arsenal, which has a tough matchup ahead against the Blues.

Given his strong defensive skills, goal-scoring ability and leadership mentality, you can expect Vermaelen to have a huge impact on this game.

He'll undoubtedly aid the Gunners' attempt to stop a potent Chelsea striking attack, which is a key to victory for Arsenal on Saturday.

Vermaelen's leadership skills and love for his team are not to be questioned, as evident in this ESPN article:

"I know people are criticising Arsenal, but our main target is to keep everybody fit. If we do that, I'm really confident our team is good enough to compete for everything," he said.

Vermaelen will put his skills to test when he faces compatriot Eden Hazard and Chelsea on Saturday at 7:45 a.m. ET.


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