The Premier League resumes this weekend with hopes of survival for relegation battling clubs and rivalries and enmities revived with a stand-out clash that embodies the dramatic and animated nature of the Premier League.
Arsenal welcome Maurizio’s Sarri’s Chelsea to the Emirates this Saturday, and though Chelsea will be hoping to complete a league double over Arsenal for the 5th time in 13 years, this clash is not just for pride but to also fuel hopes of Champions League football next season.
The Blues lie 4th with a 6point cushion over their London rivals and they will hope they can extend that cushion to 9 points with the resurgence of Manchester United who lie 6th and share the same points with Arsenal.
The reverse fixture at the Stamford Bridge produced a 5goal thriller with Chelsea fashioning a dominating master-class display and claiming all 3 points.
Arsenal will be going all out to seek revenge and buoyancy to extend their 10 home game winning streak against their adversaries but will have to overcome the resilience of Chelsea who boast the third-best away record in the league.
The two sides have met a total of 53 times in the Premier League with a total of 19 wins for Arsenal and 16 draws but Chelsea have a higher goal tally of 73 compared to Arsenal’s 68. The recent games have seen Chelsea record 2 wins and 2 draws with a total goal tally of 16 for both sides. Last 5 recent games:
- Saturday 24th September 2016. Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsenal 3 – 0 Chelsea
- Saturday 4th February 2017. Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea 3 – 1 Arsenal
- Sunday 17th September 2017. Stamford Bridge, London.
Chelsea 0 – 0 Arsenal
- Wednesday 3rd January 2018. Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsenal 2 – 2 Chelsea
- Saturday 28th Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea 3 – 2 Arsenal
Arsenal have won only one of their last 14 league games against Chelsea and will surely be hopeful of a better result. Chelsea’s defence although it looks shaky, boasts of the second best clean sheets(10) whiles Arsenal have just 3 clean sheets and conceded 51 goals already this season.
Arsenal have enjoyed a good record in all their London derbies at home winning 9 games winning the last 5 in a row.
Their last defeat was in January 2016 against Chelsea and former Gunner Olivier Giroud, could be just the second player to score for both clubs in premier league meetings between Arsenal and Chelsea after Cesc Fabregas. Chelsea and Arsenal hit men, Eden Hazard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are the only players whose goals have secured more points for their respective sides this season.
This clash involves teams spoilt with talent and skill but there’s no doubt that there are players amongst their ranks who can produce moments of magic and wizardry to sway the outcome one way.
- Eden Hazard: The Belgian wizard has been largely touted as the best player in England. He’s only one of two players to record 10 goals and assists this season the second being Lionel Messi. He has produced moments of splendor which has won his side games this season and surely, Maurizio Sarri will be looking up to his Belgian shaman on Saturday.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: The Gabonese gunslinger is the joint top scorer this campaign with 14 goals. Though there are moments he goes almost unnoticed in a game, his little involvement almost always ends up in dismay for opponents. Chelsea’s backline will need to be very vigilant to keep him away.
- David Luiz: The veteran Brazilian defender has turned out to be a key member of Sarri’s team. He’s provided 2 assists in his last two outings in the Premier League. The Brazilian also leads the way when it comes to number of successful through balls this season with 31 showing he has a remarkable vision which can cut open defences and Arsenal are already suffering defensively.
- Mesut Ozil: The ex-German international has had a torrid time this season under Emery who seems not to favor the German but Emery will have to consider the German since he’s the most creative player at the club.
- Jorginho: The Italian midfielder has been slandered by many football pundits and fans alike but Maurizio Sarri thinks otherwise and yes, Jorginho is the orchestrator of Sarri’s idea of football and he’s just behind David Luiz with 14 successful through balls. Arsenal must keep an eye on him to disrupt Chelsea’s play.
‘’Usually they (Chelsea) imposed each match against the opposition. They won against Manchester City. This test for us is the same.
If we can impose our idea, our gameplan against them, it’s the best for us.’’ – Unai Emery. This gives an idea of what should be expected on Saturday. Arsenal will not sit back for Chelsea to dictate play and you can bet Chelsea will also be eager to exert their dominance over Arsenal once more.
This fixture promises to be one absolute belter.
Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea
By: Mishael Quaynor|UniversSports|Universnewsroom