On 6th November this Sunday, Chelsea and Arsenal are set to battle it out with each other in yet another London Derby. Michael Oliver will take charge of the game at Stamford Bridge, with Jarred Gillet on VAR duty. Kick-off time 1200Hrs GMT.
This will be the first time the two sides will be meeting this season and surely the first time Arteta will face Potter as Chelsea manager. The last time the two managers met, Potter managed to steal all three points from Arsenal at the Emirates. The upcoming contest, however, is one of a different dynamic, with Arteta’s men looking revamped. Having faced a setback in their previous match against Brighton, Chelsea will be hoping that a setback is all it was and they can shake that off.
It has been a precarious season for the Blues, who currently sit 6th on the league table. They are befallen by a number of injuries affecting some of their most important players. Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, and N’Golo Kante are all out, a factor that has presented a significant challenge for the Blues. With the new boss still in the process of figuring out his preferred 11, facing the Gunners in this form would be perilous.
For Arsenal, these are giddy days, indeed. This great establishment has on today its broadest smile, its sharpest suit, its dancing shoes. They are playing some tantalizing football, with their key men fit and firing. Saka limped off injured in their previous match against Nottingham Forest. However, Arsenal and England fans will be pleased to learn that their star man is fit and even ready to face Zurich in their Europa League clash on Thursday. Alex Zinchenko and Mohammed Elneny are also back, which is a major boost for the league leaders. The Ukraine international had missed the Gunners’ last eight games, including the Europa League defeat to PSV. His presence now will be vital for Arteta’s men.
It is worth noting, however, that Chelsea are unbeaten at home this season, with three wins and two draws in five home games. The Gunners, on the other hand, have lost two matches in all competitions, with both defeats coming away from home. Their draw against Southampton also came on the road, and Arteta would be aware of this statistic.
Last season, the two teams shared three points each, out of the possible six, with both wins coming away from home. Arsenal were the better of Chelsea in pre-season, with a 4-nil win in the Florida cup. If previous statistics and current form are anything to go by, the Gunners will be going into this match as the favorites. Potter will hope to have steadied his ship before then if they are to walk out of that encounter in a joyous mood.
Every outcome and its implication
A win for Arsenal will put a firm hold on their title endeavors, and there will be a strong belief that they can carry on with their heroics till the end. A win for Chelsea presents a way back for Graham Potter to get his house in order and confidently compete for the top four. Defeat, on the other hand, will be the cause of worry at the Bridge, and profound criticism will go in as to whether Potter has got a hold on his team. For Arsenal, losing this match will mean relinquishing the top spot to Man City, who are difficult to chase once on a title charge.