Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Mesut Ozil, Eden Hazard and Top Talents at Emirates Stadium

Christopher AtkinsContributor IDecember 23, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  (L-R) Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Barry Bannan of Crystal Palace challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on December 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

It is one of several important top of the table clashes over the Christmas and New Year period, but the all-London clash between Arsenal and Chelsea already looks a crucial fixture for both sides' title hopes as Liverpool and Manchester City continue to put their foot on the accelerator.

The game will pit two sides whose seasons have progressed in very different fashions, although the teams are now only separated by two points in the Premier League table and have very similar goal differences.

Despite that, there is a feeling that Arsenal have been vibrant in their football while Chelsea are stodgy and yet to click. However, the best indication yet of the pair's comparative strengths will come in their first head-to-head meeting of the season on Monday night.

As so often with big games in the Premier League, it could well be individual performances that eventually separate the two sides. But, who are the big name players to watch on this occasion?


Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: David Silva of Manchester City marshalls Mesut Oezil of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richar
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Germany international Ozil has been the star attraction of the Gunners' resurgent side this season, adding a unique touch of class in attacking areas.

The former Real Madrid man's arrival saw a tangible improvement in the club's on-pitch form, with Arsenal realistic competitors at the top of the Premier League for the first time in several years.

While there has been a recent drop off in his performance levels, Ozil's four goals and seven assists in the league so far have been important to Arsenal's quick start, adding a clinical edge that had often been missing in recent seasons.

Against Chelsea he will once more be the player who is looked to for inspiration if the going gets tough, having come up with the goods on so many occasions for his respective sides in the past.


Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea controls the ball from Dejan Lovren of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge on December 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike H
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Belgian flyer Eden Hazard still has far too many quiet games but is simply sensational when he is at his best. With six goals and four assists for the Blues this campaign, though, he leads the way for the Blues in the Premier League on both counts per WhoScored.

The Blues have not been as free-flowing as some supporters would like to see, however they have found their goalscoring touch of late with two goals or more in each of their last six Premier League outings. Hazard finding form has been a major influence in that improvement.

Able to run at his marker and beat the man on both sides with pace and trickery, the Belgian is a real threat for any side and is an excellent finisher when inside the area.

Games like the encounter with Arsenal are where he must now step up more regularly and prove himself to be truly among the Premier League's most potent attacking players.


Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been a revelation this campaign, having already found the net on eight occasions and provided six assists in what is already his most productive season by some distance per Soccerway.

What has been so impressive about his contributions over the past few months is that he has come to the fore when his side have most needed him, scoring goals in big fixtures with Dortmund, Marseille and Liverpool.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium  on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Given that Chelsea's deep-lying midfield pair has not always been convincing this season, the stage is set for Ramsey to provide the platform for an Arsenal win once more on Monday night if he can perform to his best once more.

Per Whoscored, no Arsenal player has been more involved on the ball this season than Ramsey and if they are to unlock the Chelsea defence at the Bridge, doubtless the former Cardiff youngster will be central to the success.


Oscar (Chelsea)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11:  Danijel Georgijevski of Steaua is tackled by Oscar of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Chelsea and FC Steaua Bucuresti at Stamford Bridge on December 11, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Pau
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Brazil midfielder Oscar has taken on a central role within the Chelsea side since the summer arrival of Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, who has generally preferred him to Spanish No. 10 Juan Mata.

What makes Oscar so appealing to managers with both club and country is his tireless work ethic, combining grit and determination with his terrific abilities when on the ball.

Although nominally playing off the centre-forward, Oscar is at his best when allowed to drift around the pitch. Besides the standard role of an attacking midfielder, he can also be seen dropping deep to collect the ball off defenders, as well as overlapping wide and hit pinpoint crosses.

Injury has seen him spend time on the sidelines in recent weeks, but he has started the season well with five league goals to his name. A regular top performer in the Champions League, Oscar has shown himself to be a man for the big stage since arriving in London.