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Arsenal v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 29th December 2019

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Kick-off: 14:00 GMT

Half-way through the festive period, today’s game sees us face another Premier League side with a new man at the helm, as we take the short trip to The Emirates. We’ve had mixed fortunes in these situations, with a defeat to Everton with their then-caretaker Duncan Ferguson and a win against Tottenham, with their new and alleged ‘humble, chilled’ version of Jose Mourinho.

Today, it’ll be Mikel Arteta in charge for an Arsenal side who’ve been as inconsistent as we have this season. They’ve won just one of the last 11 league games and come into this one in the bottom half of the table, while we somehow remain in the top four, albeit by the skin of our teeth now after five defeats in the last seven.

Despite the performance of the season against Tottenham, we were as poor as I’ve seen us so far this season against Southampton on Boxing Day. The outcome today is largely dependent on which of those performances we replicate.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, says “We need to attack better, to concede less on the counter-attack, to defend better and prepare a good training session for them to improve.  I don’t look at the games [coming up] against Chelsea or [Manchester] United – it’s now. At the moment the urgency is now. And we need an impact now.”

Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard meanwhile, says “I know we’ve got a lot of work to do. It doesn’t surprise me some of the results we’ve had but we’ve got to be brutal with ourselves and say ‘it’s all well and good beating Tottenham and feeling on top of the world but we need to reproduce in different ways and against different opposition’.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Arsenal, Rob Holding (knee), Sead Kolasinac (ankle), Kieran Tierney (shoulder), and Dani Ceballos are injured. Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring) and Hector Bellerin face tests, although Calum Chambers returns from suspension.

For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), van Ginkel (ACL), remain out and Marcos Alonso and Reece James face fitness tests, but Mateo Kovacic is available again after serving his suspension in the defeat on Boxing Day.

TEAMS

ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Luiz, Saka; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma; Tomori, Alonso; Kovacic; Kante; Willian, Mount; Abraham.

LAST SEASON

Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (19th January 2019)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

ARSENAL: DLWLDD

CHELSEA: LWLLWL

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea’s only victory in their past seven matches at Emirates Stadium was in 2016.
  • Arsenal are winless in six home matches in all competitions.
  • Arsenal have accrued a league-high 11 points from losing positions this term.
  • Chelsea have lost five of their past seven league matches.
  • Chelsea have kept just two clean sheets in their 10 most recent league fixtures.
  • Chelsea have lost three league games so far this month.
  • Chelsea have been beaten in seven league games this term.
  • Only Liverpool and Manchester City have scored more away goals than Chelsea’s tally of 22.
  • Chelsea have lost three games so far verses teams in the top half of the table.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Arsenal 3-2 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

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