Will Arsenal turn their fortunes around against the Blues?
Arsenal vs Chelsea preview
This Sunday will see the blue side of London lock horns with the red side, as Chelsea travel to the Emirates. The second game week in the Premier League has thrown us a fierce London rivalry and what happened in the previous week for both these teams makes it a fascinating encounter.
Chelsea will be confident that they can pick up three points, as they look to mount a serious title charge, after already tasting early-season triumph in the Super Cup. The Blues remained focused and picked up a comfortable 3-0 over Crystal Palace, whereas for Arsenal it was the polar opposite.
The Gunners succumbed to a shocking 2-0 defeat to Premier League novices, Brentford. It was a performance that lacked any desire or penetration, but they now have the perfect opportunity to bounce back, in front of a full Emirates stadium for the first time in 18 months.
Chelsea head to North London with the added bonus of Romelu Lukaku being available after his quarantine period. The striker could be set to make his second Chelsea debut and has been training hard throughout the week to get ready for the fixture.
Thomas Tuchel will also be hoping that N’Golo Kante will join the team for the weekend, after the Frenchman injured his ankle against Villareal last Wednesday, in the Super Cup, and missed the Crystal Palace match. Kante didn’t appear to train with the first team, as Chelsea did a public training session at Stamford Bridge, on Wednesday morning, but has been involved in more recent sessions.
The same goes for Hakim Ziyech who has featured in the past couple of training sessions and could play a part but Tuchel remains cautious about the Moroccan’s shoulder injury. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic won’t be available for selection after the latter tested positive for COVID-19.
As for Arsenal, they were without both their star strikers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, for their trip to Brentford with the pair feeling unwell and Mikel Arteta is unsure whether the pair will be able to overcome the illness in time for Sunday.
Thomas Partey is close to a return, with the end of August the expected return date but this fixture may have come too early to see the Ghanaian feature after he was forced off in a friendly against Chelsea. Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Magalhaes will be forced to miss this match as well.
Romelu Lukaku on whether he will make his debut against Arsenal:
🗣️"I’m ready, so it’s just about getting into the team and trying to prove myself to the coaches that if I’m needed, I can play. We all have to compete throughout the week to earn our starting spot." pic.twitter.com/9E0CG8nfjW
— ChelseaFCBlogs (@ChelseaFCBlogs_) August 19, 2021
In recent fixtures, it’s the red side of London that has emerged victorious more often than not, doing the double over Chelsea last season, for the first time since the 2003/04 season. They have only lost three times in the past 14 meetings with their London rivals, winning six and drawing the other five.
So, despite the negativity surrounding Arsenal right now, they should head into this match with the confidence of knowing how to bring down the Blues, whose last victory against Arsenal came in 2019 winning 2-1.
Results at the weekend have seen Chelsea go above Arsenal in an all-time Premier League wins count. 📈
Who are the bigger club? 😬 pic.twitter.com/RLJv02ON9x
— 90min (@90min_Football) August 17, 2021
Players to watch
Trevor Chalobah – Chalobah is the first feel-good story of the Premier League season. He has been at Chelsea since the age of eight and after multiple loan moves away, finally got his chance at 22. He impressed Tuchel in pre-season enough to give him a start in the Super Cup and his performance in that match forced him into Chelsea’s opening game in the Premier League and he took that opportunity, scoring and keeping a clean sheet. Although away to Arsenal will be a different challenge, and if he starts, could be the making of the next Chelsea youth product.
Emile Smith-Rowe – There wasn’t too many positives to pick out from Arsenal’s performance against Brentford, but Smith-Rowe was definitely one. He was bright every time he got on the ball and tried to push his team forward at every opportunity. If Arsenal are going to win, they will need Smith-Rowe to provide the creative spark and be the difference-maker, like last time these teams faced.
Emile Smith Rowe’s game by numbers vs. Brentford:
100% final third pass accuracy
98% overall pass accuracy
3 attempted take-ons
2 successful take-ons
2 chances created
2 fouls won
A decent individual performance. 👏 pic.twitter.com/4dl6kCIXHo
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 13, 2021
On paper, Chelsea are the clear favourites but with the Emirates being at full capacity, Arsenal will have that extra motivation and will look to right their wrongs after last week.
It is a difficult one to call and with it still being unclear whether Lacazette and Aubameyang play, Mikel Arteta will need to find some way to break through Chelsea’s defence whilst also stopping Lukaku on his return to the Premier League.
Arsenal 0 – 2 Chelsea
The game kicks off on Sunday at 4:30 live at the Emirates, with people at home able to watch it on Sky Sports main event.
We hope you enjoyed the article “Arsenal vs Chelsea preview.” What are your predictions for the clash between Arsenal and Chelsea? Let us know!
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