Chelsea vs Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview and Prediction
It’s the battle of two London behemoths as Chelsea host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in an enthralling Premier League clash on Tuesday night.
Both the sides will be looking to bounce back from disappointing results last time out.The Blues suffered a loss at Newcastle United, whereas Arsenal were held to a draw by a battling Sheffield United at the Emirates.
Chelsea have lost eight matches in total during this season but still sit at fourth in the table and are ten points ahead of Arsenal.
They have struggled to find consistency this season under an inexperienced coach and given their transfer ban over the summer. But their record has been relatively strong under adverse circumstances.
The Gunners, on the other hand are having their worst season in years as they sit tenth in the table with six wins and six losses. They are a huge 35 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Mikel Arteta’s side has improved substantially after his appointment. The players look hungry and hugely motivated to earn points for their former captain.
Last time out
Jorginho and Tammy Abraham scored two late goals to turn the tables and secure a huge victory for the Blues at the Emirates Stadium. It was also the first defeat of the Arteta era and he would like to avenge that defeat.
Head to Head
Arsenal lead the overall head-to-head 77 wins to Chelsea's 65, while there have also been 57 draws between the London rivals throughout history.
For Chelsea, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are the only absentees. Reece James is a doubt but is expected to start. Apart from this, Frank Lampard has a full squad to choose from.
For Arsenal, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Reiss Nelson are out of this clash. The club’s top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss out through suspension. Sokratis will also return to the eleven.
Jorginho vs Mesut Ozil
Jorginho is the lynch-pin of this Chelsea side and he dictates the rhythm of their play. He has found another lease of life under the stewardship of Lampard. The Italian range and immaculate one-touch passing will come in handy to tackle a strong Gunners midfield, led by Mesut Ozil.
He sits in front of the back four and keeps the Blues ticking. The 28-year old has a pass success rate of 87.5 and has also scored three goals for the Blues.
Mesut Ozil has been one of the first names on the team-sheet after Arteta’s announcement. The German is contributing both in the attack and defence. If on song, he is one of the best number tens going around and will come face to face with Jorginho.
They will battle it out for supremacy in the midfield. Whoever gets the better of the other will determine the winner of tonight’s clash.
Cesar Azpilicueta vs Nicolas Pepe
The Chelsea captain is deputizing as the left-back as both Marcos Alonso and Emerson have failed to grab the position. He is one of the most consistent players in the team and very strong defensively.
Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe has not set the Premier League alight but is slowly and steadily coming into his own. His pace and dribbling ability is capable of unlocking any defence.
The experienced defender has to be alert as Pepe is really quick and will vanish in a blink of an eye. Pepe has additional responsibilities on his shoulders as Aubameyang is not available for this clash and Alexandre Lacazette is not in form.
Arsenal have not won at Stamford Bridge since 2011 and the Blues are also undefeated in their last nine home matches against the Gunners in all competitions.
The Gunners have also won just twice on the road this season and they have a tough task on hand. They are just two points ahead of the 14th placed Burnley and a couple of poor results will quickly see them fall down the table.
Both the London sides will be desperate to return to winning ways and will give their absolute best. Although Stamford Bridge has traditionally been a tough ground for the Gunners, Arsenal sure have the quality to hurt the Blues, even in the absence of their captain and leading goal scorer.
We predict a close game with Chelsea coming up trumps in the London Derby.
Score Prediction - Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal