Slider

Premier League: Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview

Chelsea head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to face Arsenal as another weekend of Premier League action is set to reignite rivalries that have been mellowed last season. 

Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the first week of the season portrays the tight race between big-six to win the Premier League this season, with no clear outright favourites to win the title. 

The North West London Derby will be crucial for both the Blues and the Gunners, as this would be the first major fixture for both the clubs. 

Here’s our preview of Sunday’s Premier League fixture between Arsenal and Chelsea.

 

ARSENAL

Arsenal’s season has been off to a rocky start, with Mikel Arteta’s side losing to newly-promoted Brentford 2-0 away from home. The Gunners were below-par throughout the night, and the absence of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette due to the coronavirus was keenly felt. 

But if Mikel Arteta is aiming for a better finish than the last two seasons, they have to put on a much better performance at home. 

The Gunners will have Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang available for the weekend as he has tested negative and is recovering. Alexandre Lacazette will be unavailable for the fixture, and both Willian and Alex Runarsson are also out of consideration for the night.

The signing of playmaker Martin Odegaard and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale just in time for the fixture could see both the players making their debut at the Emirates Stadium against the Blues. 

Arsenal’s transfer signings have been much criticised of late, and the signing of the duo might give the crucial edge that the Gunners have been missing last season. 

Mikel Arteta has now spent more than £129 million in the transfer market and fans will be eagerly expecting the money to show results sooner rather than later.  

 

CHELSEA

Since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge in the middle of last season, Chelsea have been on a quest to reclaim their lost glory. From languishing in the middle of the table to finishing fourth by the end of the season, Thomas Tuchel has made the side into a formidable attacking unit – capable of dominating the game using possession-based football. 

Under Tuchel, the Blues reached the finals of the FA Cup, won their second-ever Champions League title, and recently won the UEFA Super Cup with a victory against Villarreal. A good pre-season for the team also increased expectations and their opening night victory against Crystal Palace augurs a good season for the Blues. 

Chelsea’s chances against Arsenal will be further boosted by the return of N’Golo Kante, who missed the opening fixture due to an ankle injury. 

Romelu Lukaku’s record-signing is set to boost the Blues’ attacking unit and Tuchel is likely to unleash the Belgian superstar on Arsenal’s defences on Sunday. Hakim Ziyech is yet to recover from his shoulder injury and will miss the fixture.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

The Blues have won just three of their last 14 fixtures against the Gunners, managing to draw the game just five times. They lost both their fixtures in the Premier League last season, including a 3-1 drubbing at the Emirates Stadium. 

But Thomas Tuchel’s side have managed to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in the pre-season friendly earlier this month, with Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham scoring for the Blues. 

This will be the 204th meeting between both the London rivals across competitions and Arsenal hold the edge with 79 victories compared to Chelsea’s 65 wins. In the Premier League, Arsenal again hold the edge with 22 victories over Chelsea’s 19 wins. 

Significantly, both teams have won more encounters at their home grounds – giving Mikel Arteta’s side a confidence boost ahead of the fixture.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Despite record signings and a spectacular squad on paper, Arsenal have struggled to find a footballing style that will give them the edge over other big-six clubs. 

Compared to Pep Guardiola’s numerical overloading strategy or Thomas Tuchel’s attack-minded football, Arteta’s plans seem haphazard. 

If there is a philosophy behind his record-signings this season, it is yet to be unveiled. With a strong attacking unit that features the likes of Lukaku and their recent form, Chelsea are clear favourites to win the London derby.

Arsenal Predicted XI: Aaron Ramsdale, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Ben White, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, Albert-Sambi Lokonga, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe, Martin Odegaard.

Chelsea Predicted XI: : Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Romelu Lukaku.

When: Sunday, 22 August 2021, 9:00 PM IST

Where: Emirates Stadium, London.

Where to Watch: All Premier League fixtures will be featured on Disney+ Hotstar. Select matches will be telecasted live on Star Sports and Star Sports Select Channels.

 

●●●

VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.