Arsenal vs Chelsea One of the most entertaining, most emotional and best rivalries in world football: The London Derby. It is the two big horses of London Chelsea and Arsenal who are going to lock horns at the Emirates Stadium once again to decide who is the real ‘boss’ of London. Though Arsenal are the league leaders and Chelsea are in relegation threat, the Derby fight is much important to both the clubs as it is more about the ‘pride of London’ rather than Premier League domination. Also, this is the first game that Chelsea play Arsenal after the Blues sacked their best ever manager Jose Mourinho, who and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a personal rivalry. Wenger should feel relieved that he is facing a Chelsea without Jose Mourinho against whom the French man has a poor record. Anyway, check out the Arsenal vs Chelsea match preview, squad and all the things what you should know.
Arsenal vs Chelsea Match Preview
Chelsea are undefeated in the Premier League under Guus Hiddink after the Dutch man took over the reigns from Jose Mourinho. On another side, Arsenal are flying high in the Premier League as they lead the Premier League table and are the first favorites to clinch the EPL title this season. Chelsea being the defending Champions, are trying to avoid the relegation battle as they sit 14th in the league and are still struggling to reverse their fortunes. Chelsea’s ‘nightmare of a season’ can go worse if they lose to Gunners at the Emirates since the Derby defeat is always a difficult one and will affect the players, manager, staffs, authorities, owner and the fans.
For Arsenal, considering the form they are in now the London derby is going to be a usual game (a rare one) but they should beware because they lost to the Blues in the reverse fixture. Though there were a number of discomforts in accepting the defeat, none can change the fact that Arsenal lost all the three points at the Stamford Bridge. The Gunners will be gunning in all cylinders to take those points back and restore their pride in London.
Current Form and Performances of Arsenal
Arsenal are not beaten in their last seven league games, winning five games and drawing the other two. But the notable point is that Wenger is without a win in the Premier League in his last two games. Against Liverpool, Arsenal played a high voltage 3-3 draw and were nearly beaten by Stoke City. Thanks to heroics by Peter Cech who saved Arsenal’s game and won them a point at the Britannia Stadium. The two draws are away games and Arsenal are back to the Emirates where the Gunner are enjoying a very good run of form. Arsenal host their London rivals at their Fortress and that will give Wenger’s men an edge over the Blues.
Arsenal Injury News
Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns but are without the in-form midfielder Francis Coquelin who was not part of Arsenal since November. Jack Wilshere, the other longtime absentee. Mesut Ozil, the league’s best goal maker this season is back to full fitness and is confirmed that he will play the London Derby. Forward Alexis Sanchez could make the squad, but may not play from the start as he is not yet fully fit and Arsenal will not risk their star man.
Arsenal – Predicted XI
Peter Cech, Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud.
Current Form and Performances of Chelsea
The West Londoners are in the second half of the table but the players are fresh and playing better football after Jose Mourinho left the club. Diego Costa, Oscar are the well notable players who have had a terrific change in form after the Portuguese left the club. Star forward Diego Costa has returned to his goal-scoring form and is a strong threat up front once again. But the Blues got a bigger problem than their attack as they are defensively weaker than ever. It is said that this season is Chelsea’s worst defensive performance in over a decade! Except the young Kurt Zouma, none of the Chelsea defenders are playing to their potential. Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta is defensively good, but he is not the same player of last season where he played a solid role to help Chelsea win the Premier League.
Chelsea Injury News
Chelsea are relieved to finally welcome back star man Eden Hazard to the squad who is ready to play against Arsenal this weekend. The Belgian is taking part with the squad in training since Wednesday. Apart from Eden, Chelsea have Diego Costa fit and ready to play (at least a half) who suffered a little knock against Everton last weekend.
Chelsea – Predicted XI
Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, Kurt Zouma, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Obi Mikel, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian, Diego Costa.
Arsenal vs Chelsea Match Details
Match: Arsenal vs Chelsea
Date: 24 January, 2016, Sunday
Time: 11:00 (ET), 21:30 (IST)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal are the clear favorites to win the tie but in order to make that the Gunners should be aware of the threat by injury return Eden Hazard, in-form Willian and the rejuvenated Diego Costa.