By Dominic Toner

Phil Thompson believes that Hector Bellerin will replace Gabriel in the Arsenal defence against Chelsea.

The Gunners travel to Stamford Bridge for a Premier League clash with leaders Chelsea and will be looking to respond to the 2-1 loss suffered mid-week against Watford.

The north London club slipped to a home defat against Watford and face a must-win game against Chelsea if they are to stand any realistic chance of winning the title.

Sky Sports pundit Thompson feel that manager Arsene Wenger will alter his defence and replace the under-fire Gabriel with Belleirn.

“(Eden) Hazard will be the key man if Gabriel plays at right-back because he was exceptionally poor the other day, but I would assume Hector Bellerin will come back in,” Thompson said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “Wenger got to half-time (against Watford) and he knew he had a problem and that’s what concerns me, that he thinks Gabriel is a better defender.”

Gabriel has started the last three Premier League games at full-back and been preferred to over Bellerin.

The 26-year-old is a versatile defender and has featured in the last 11 consecutive matches.

However, Thompson feels that the Brazilian will be axed from the starting line-up after a number of poor performances recently.

Bellerin will hope to regain his number one position at right-back and is set to tested by one of the Premier League’s best in Chelsea.

Wenger’s side are already nine points behind the Blues in the table and will need the three points to close the gap, and will be boosted by the fact they beat Antonio Conte’s side 3-0 in the reverse fixture in September.

In other Arsenal news, Paul Merson has predicted the outcome of the clash with Chelsea.

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