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.
After beating Nottingham Forest five goals to nil, Arsenal returned to the top of the premier league. An early goal from Martinelli in the fourth minute gave Arsenal the lead. The gunners went on and scored four goals; Reis Nelson came on from the bench to replace injured Saka on the 27th minute and scored a brace. The fourth goal was a screamer from Thomas Partey. Martin Odegaard scored the fifth goal. The midfield pivot of Partey and Granit Xhaka has been sensational this season. After twelve games, Arsenal are still top of the PL.
Race for the Premier League title
The premier league is taking shape after 12 matches; the games are so competitive; bottom teams are going toe to toe with the top six. The results of matches are increasingly becoming unpredictable. Chelsea lost to Brighton; previously, Brighton had not won any of their last five games; Liverpool also lost to Leeds United in the closing stages of the game. After a tough fight with West Ham, the red devils managed to get three points, with the only goal scored by Marcus Rashford. Manchester City won their game against Leicester after a stunning free kick from De Bruyne. Haaland’s absence made it slightly difficult for Pep’s men to convert their chances, but they managed to see the game through thanks to the individual brilliance of their other star players. They are two points behind Arsenal, with the title competition now shaping up for a fierce rivalry. On the other end, Tottenham won their game after coming from two goals to nil, scoring three goals against Bournemouth to complete the comeback.
Manchester City aim for their 3rd EPL title in a row
So far, Arsenal have emerged as the only team to rival City for the Premier League title. However, it takes consistency and excellent squad depth, which Arsenal lack, to challenge for the title. Following a series of games due to the world cup in less than three weeks, an injury to one important player can make them struggle to amass points. City has a great squad depth; therefore, they are considered favorites to win the title. Arsenal’s next game in the premier league is against Chelsea, which will be a massive test in their pursuit for the title. City welcomes Fulham at the Etihad. The cottagers have been playing well since coming into the premier league and will offer the right challenge for Guardiola’s men.
The Revival of Newcastle United
Since the Saudi takeover, Newcastle now look a completely different side winning six of their thirteen matches played this season. They have drawn six, and only lost one. The appointment of Eddie also seemed to be a watershed for the Magpies, making significant impact with very few big signings. They now sit fourth in the premier league table, unbeaten in their last eight matches. Their previous game against Aston Villa ended in a 4 nil thrashing, sending the message that they might just be back.
Graham Porter was on the road for the first time to face his former side since his move to Chelsea. The Blues boss anticipated a memorable return with a win against the Seagulls on their own ground. Having played nine games under Porter without losing a single match, Chelsea were confident to walk back home with all 3 points. They would have loved to shake off their disappointment against Manchester United, missing the win by a whisker in that game.
Brighton, on the other hand, had played 5 games under De Zerbi without a single win. There was a little bit of worry on the ground that the team was missing their former manager. However, with difficult first fixtures for De Zerbi, there was no desperation to amass victories. Brighton were coming into this match as the underdogs. Anything but a win was the expected outcome for the Seagulls.
Brighton dominant in first half
Following an enthralling encounter between the two sides, Brighton emerged victorious thrashing Chelsea 4 goals to 1. Trossard opened the scoring for Brighton before own goals from Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah saw the Seagulls go three nil up. All these came in the first half, with Brighton exhibiting a dominant display against the Blues.
Game evens out in the second half
The beginning of the second half saw the introduction of Mendy, with Kepa staying in the dugout injured. Chelsea started out with a resurgent mood, with Havertz scoring to reward their renewed attitude. The Blues kept on knocking on the door forcing Sanchez to make good saves to keep Brighton’s lead secure. De Zerbi’s men managed to whither the storm and keep Chelsea at bay for the remainder of the match. Towards the dying embers of the game, Gross finished a rebound shot parried by Mendy to make it 4 goals for the Seagulls.
What this outcome means
This defeat makes it the first for Potter as Chelsea manager while handing De Zerbi his first win as Brighton coach. Brighton needed a win to herald them in the right direction, and this win will do just that. Chelsea will have to go back to the drawing board as their previous displays have been far from set standards. Their defeat today is a culmination of successive underwhelming performances, and Potter would want to correct that.
Erling Haaland opened the scoring in the 22nd minute of their game against Brighton, following a long cross from Ederson. The Norwegian star scored a brace after a Brighton player fouled Bernardo Silva, and the City awarded a penalty. After scoring two goals, Haaland has now scored seventeen premier league goals, making him the top goal scorer this season.
Brighton fail the Manchester City test
Leandro Trossard later gave Brighton hope of equalizing after scoring a long-range. The Belgian winger has been sensational this season for Brighton scoring six goals and assisting 1 for the Seagulls. His Belgium teammate, Kevin De Bruyne, would later equalize on the other end to put the game to bed.
Brighton are finding it increasingly difficult to win matches under De Zerbi, with this match marking his fifth as Brighton manager without a win.
Haaland continues with his brilliant scoring form
Erling Haaland has been the leading man in the City team. He scored seventeen goals in eleven PL matches and five in the champions league. He only needs to score five more goals to equal last season’s Premier League top scorer; City still have 27 games to go.
Manchester City’s win keeps them closer to the top spot
Manchester City welcomed Brighton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as anticipated by many to be a tough match since Brighton started the season with impressive wins, thanks to Haaland, who scored a brace and helped the City beat Brighton three goals to one. On the other end, City has been impressive this season, second in the premier league table behind Arsenal with only two points after Arsenal drew away at Southampton.
Will Haaland help city win its first UCL trophy?
Last season Manchester city failed to reach the UCL final after Real Madrid eliminated them in the semifinal during the last minute of the game. Pep Guardiola argued that they couldn’t compete for the cup without having a natural goal scorer, which led to the transfer of Haaland from BVB after Manchester city activated Haaland’s release clause, which was 60 million Euros. So far, Haaland has repaid the trust his coach had in him after having a brilliant start to the season. Manchester City has not lost their four opening games in the champions league, and Haaland has scored in all the matches he has started for City in the champions league.
Haaland ridiculous form
The Norwegian star has scored and assisted in all his premier league games except the match against Liverpool. So far, Haaland has three hat tricks in the premier league, having broken the record for the most hat tricks scored in the premier league after ten games going with his current form, Haaland can score 66 goals this season in the premier league after three seasons he can equal Alan shearer all-time premier league top scorer.
The blues are set to welcome the red devils at Stamford bridge for the first time this season. Following a draw against Brentford, Chelsea look to bounce back this weekend when they face Manchester United, who beat Tottenham two goals to nil in the previous match.
Chelsea plagued with injuries with United looking strong
However, Chelsea are faced with a series of injuries, following the latest Reece James injury when they played Ac Milan in the champions league. Reece James has been arguably the best Chelsea player this season and will be missed by Chelsea and England fans since he won’t be available for the world cup, which will start in a month’s time. Also, Ng’olo Kante will be out following an injury setback while training. Wesley Fofana will also not feature due to an injury he faced while playing AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League group contest.
On the other end, Manchester United look comfortable with an almost fully-fit squad. Christian Eriksen returned to United’s squad midweek against Spurs. Antony Martial and Harry Maguire have been ruled out again, joining Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the only absentees. Their most important players will be in the contest against Chelsea apart from Cristiano Ronaldo, who Eric Ten Hag suspended for walking down the tunnel before the full time and refused to be substituted in the ninetieth minute against Spurs.
The dynamic of the game
The two teams have drawn in their last four games, so it won’t be an easy game to predict. The Blues aim to maintain their number four spot if they beat or even get a draw against the red devils. Manchester United will have to beat Chelsea, who are above them with one point in the EPL, and claim the number four spot.
Reece James’ spot might be covered by Cesar Azpilicueta or Ruben Loftus Cheek, who has also been brilliant in the Right wing-back position. However, none of them will actually offer what Reece James offered; that’s why James will be a big miss. Whoever plays in that spot will have to face Manchester United wingers, who are pacey and have great dribbling attributes.
Diogo Dalot has been so brilliant this season for Manchester United clocking the third-highest top speed in the premier league. That comes in the face of some spectacular displays from him at right-back this season. The right side of Manchester united seems sorted since Diogo and Antony Santos have both been brilliant this season, and we expect them to cause Chelsea much trouble.
Casemiro also seems to have jelled perfectly well with the team. His link-up with Fred in the midfield worked out so well against the Spurs. Whether Ten Hag decides to pair him with Eriksen or Fred, that midfield will be a recipe for serious danger.
Since the appointment of Graham Potter as Chelsea’s head coach, the English man has never lost in his last seven outings, having won five and drawn two games. Kepa has also been brilliant in the past games, only conceding two goals in their last seven games and having higher expected goals saves than any other keeper in the premier league. Whoever starts up front for Manchester United will have to face Kepa’s test. The blues goalkeeper has been pivotal for Graham Potter and has secured them important points due to his prodigiousness in goal.
On the other hand, Manchester United have won three of the last five games in the premier league, drawing one against Newcastle and losing one to Manchester City. In their last two games, however, they have displayed promising consistency.
The game will kick off at 1730 hours UK time, and the ground is set for yet another thrilling encounter from these two well-matched outfits.
The Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Liverpool took off to a pulsating start, with both teams looking to walk away with 3 points. For Liverpool, a win would have reinvigorated the deteriorating mood in the club. Given their recent run of form, defeat in this match would have been a huge blow to Klopp and his men in their pursuit for the top four. On the other hand, City needed to close in on Arsenal, who look set to compete for the title this season.
The action-packed match ended in a one-nil win for the home team, with Klopp’s men showing real character to put up a fight in such an infirm state. Salah scored the only goal in the match, with Liverpool having a couple of opportunities to kill off the game. Foden scored on the other end before VAR asked Antony Taylor to look back at a tackle committed by Haaland in the build-up to the goal.
Haaland pulled Fabinho’s shirt in a 50-50 duel before passing to De Bruyne, who then slid him in with yet another incisive pass. Foden capitalized on the scramble between Haaland and Allison to strike the ball that deflected into the net from Gomez’s legs. Taylor ruled out the goal that then allowed Liverpool to grow back into the game, and ended up scoring their own.
Klopp received a red card towards the end of the match as his furious reaction towards the referees was interpreted as inexcusable dissent. This was in response to the tackles that flew in, many of which Taylor let go.
This defeat now means City lose their unbeaten status this season, with Arsenal going four points clear of them at the top of the table. For Liverpool, the win recaptures a mood in these parts not felt for quite a while. The Reds now have the opportunity to re-establish their dominance with their talisman, Mohammed Salah, slowly regaining his goal-scoring form. Will the Egyptian forward net more goals in the coming chances?
Manchester United has completed the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax for fifty-five million Euros (€ 55 m). He is now the second player at Manchester United with a history of being coached by Eric Ten Haag. Donny van de Beek has also worked with Manchester United coach at Ajax.
Ten Haag rates Martinez highly despite his considerably shorter stature for a center-back. The Argentine will be the shortest center-back ever to have featured in the history of the Premier League. Most prominent center-backs are pretty tall and of huge stature, one that can be deemed to intimidate opposition players. Luckily, Cristiano Ronaldo, a player with excellent aerial and heading quality, is Lisandro’s teammate.
Despite this perceived shortcoming, Lisandro has successfully represented Ajax in the Eredivisie as a center-back. His excellence in tackling players earned him the name ‘butcher of Amsterdam.’ He is efficiently combative in one-on-one scenarios against attacking opponent players. Infact, after his transfer to Manchester United, he had this to say, “Yes, I am called the carnicero – The Butcher of Amsterdam. We Argentines do everything with passion and when I go out on the pitch, I fight for every ball. If I have to step over dead bodies, I do it.”
Such a mentality has been attributed to the likes of Diego Simeone, Sergio Ramos, and Casemiro. Specifically, Diego Simeone, as a player, was highly regarded for his fighting spirit on the pitch. He was a win-at-all-costs kind of midfielder, aggressive and efficiently ruthless. They called him El Cholo. Coincidentally, Diego Simeone and Lisandro Martinez hail from Argentina and play(ed) a defensive role in their respective teams. Is this a young version of the former?
Lisandro has made seven (7) appearances for Argentina’s national team, La Albiceleste. The number of international appearances might increase depending on whether Ten Haag plays him. With many defensive players available, the competition for active participation is expected to be high. If the Argentine performs more remarkably, he can start most of the games.
Lisandro can play several positions, such as a center-back (CB), left-back (LB), or as a central defensive midfielder (CDM). This versatility is advantageous as it gives Ten Haag more tactical options during or before a game.
Last season, Eredivisie 21/22, Lisandro started in twenty-three (23) matches for Ajax out of thirty-four (34) matches that his side played. Moreover, he scored one (1) goal and provided three (3) assists, which is quite a notable attacking contribution for a center-back. One of his significant attacking contributions is firing long balls into opponents’ defenses. In fact, in the 21/22 season, he made 5.4 accurate long balls per game which translates to a 61% efficiency of all his long ball attempts. Additionally, ‘the butcher of Amsterdam’ featured in Eredivisie’s nine (9) rounds of ‘team of the week’ awards.
Players tend to adapt differently to the Premier League. How Lisandro will adapt is not known yet? We can judge his performance by seven (7) to eight (8) games. Either way, Ten Haag will look forward to using him to bolster United’s defense. De Jong seems to be the remaining transfer Ten Haag hopes to complete to recreate a given type of midfield with his former and present players at Old Trafford.
Kalidou Koulibaly has completed his move from Italian side Napoli to recent club world cup winners, Chelsea. The Senegalese defender has just completed his medicals at Stamford Bridge and is looking forward to jet to the USA. He will be joining the rest of Chelsea’s players on their pre-season tour in the States.
The defender has signed a forty million Euros (€ 40 m) contract deal to represent the London side until 2026. Moreover, he will receive a net salary of around ten million Euros (€ 10 m). Chelsea had initially made contact and tried unsuccessfully signing the player back in 2016. The player cited that a conversation with his Senegalese teammate, Edouard Mendy, and former Napoli teammate, Jorginho, influenced his decision.
Good Bye Rudiger
At the end of the 21/22 Premier League season, Chelsea parted ways with German defender Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger was a crucial piece on Tuchel’s side in previous games. His partnership at the back with Brazilian defender Thiago Silva provided solid protection at the back for the Blues. Moreover, the two had good communication and offered great aerial options at the front in case of set pieces. Silva and Rudiger scored eight (8) goals for Chelsea during the 21/22 Premier League season.
The departure of Rudiger has necessitated Koulibaly’s transfer to Chelsea. The player is now Chelsea’s second signing this transfer window.
Koulibaly has represented the Italian side since 2014, making it a total of eight (8) years at Naples. Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s new owner, praised Kalidou Koulibaly upon his signing and said, “Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the world’s elite defenders, and I am delighted to welcome him to Chelsea. A great leader and an exemplary team player. Kalidou brings a wealth of experience and attributes that will benefit the squad and the club as a whole.”
Chelsea’s financially ability this transfer period
Chelsea has been quite active during this transfer period. The new owners, including Tedd Boehly, seem to have a different take on some things compared to the former owner, Abramovich. They have approached several clubs to purchase players. Still, They have only been successful in two instances: the transfer of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and the transfer of Kalidou Koulibaly from the Italian side Napoli. At one point, Chelsea hijacked Arsenal’s move for Raphinha from Leeds but unexpectedly lost the race for Raphinha’s signature. Raphinha, a former Leeds player, chose Barcelona over Chelsea. ‘Broke Barcelona’ indeed.
It is pretty unsettling for a Manchester United fan that Cristiano Ronaldo did not travel with the rest of the team for the pre-season tour amidst the numerous Manchester United transfer news linking him to a possible transfer away from Old Trafford. The potential transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, among many other possible transfers to and from Manchester, keeps die-hard fans unsettled.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United’s top goal scorer in the Premier League 21/22 has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Clubs such as Chelsea and PSG have been linked with him. Chelsea’s transfers team made contact with Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, following the news that he was not part of the squad for the pre-season tour. They were trying to establish the situation at Old Trafford for the Portuguese striker and assess the possibility of a transfer. However, the two have not discussed a personal agreement, nor has Chelsea made an official offer for the Portuguese striker. Moreover, Chelsea is yet to place an official bid to sign the player.
Picture Mbappe, Neymar, Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same team
Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe are currently rated among the best footballers and happen to play for the same club. How would they lineup with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team? On paper, this team is quite formidable. However, the practicality of the situation, proper player management, and tactical implementation by the coaching team can be disastrous for one of the players. Some or one of the player(s) could end up clouded by the other(s). Notably: Benzema has been having a great season with Real Madrid following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, and Griezmann had a tough time featuring Barcelona with Messi present.
In addition, in the 21/22 Ligue 1 season, the three did not have a stellar performance per se. Mbappe was occasionally the main man on most occasions whenever the three were fielded. Mbappe played as the striking target in most matches and delivered exceptionally. Messi and Neymar had to take a deeper chance creating roles, but they occasionally failed to take up defensive roles. Well, probably Pochettinho’s tactics were a miss, or the three are just lazy.
As expected, PSG has turned down the opportunity to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. Considering the latter reason, it is pretty clear why. Furthermore, onboarding him with his high wages would significantly affect the team balance in other pitch areas, considering financial fair play guidelines.
Looking at United’s chase for De Jong brings to mind the thought of chasing after the wind. Remember the Sancho deal? At first, Sancho proved quite elusive for the Red Devils, but after numerous rejected deals and fan videos calling for his signing, he finally arrived at Old Trafford. Ten Haag appears to be gathering some of his previous exceptional players. Manchester United is also pursuing Lisandro Martinez, who happens to have been signed and coached by the Dutch, fifty-two-year-old (52 yrs) Dutch coach.
Barcelona’s financial status. Are they broke or not?
Frenkie De Jong has communicated through his agents, Ali Dursun and Hasan Cetinkaya, that he has no intention of leaving the Nou Camp. Moreover, they have stated that they are not accepting salary reductions or related negotiations. At one point, Barcelona had come to an agreement to sell the twenty-five-year-old to Manchester United, with some add-ons slated into the deal. The precise agreed transfer amount was sixty-five million Euros (€ 65 m) and twenty million Euros (€ 20 m) in add-ons. Barcelona claimed to not be in a stable financial position. They have been seeking to offload some players to lower their wage bills. The economic situation was dire to the point that the Nou Camp was open for weddings and other events during the summer break.
Another major hindrance to closing this deal is the seventeen million Euros (€ 17 m) that Barcelona owes De Jong. Surprisingly, they can hijack a Raphinha-to-Chelsea deal and sign the Brazillian for sixty-five million Euros (€ 65 m). The purchase of Raphinha by Barcelona begs many questions about their actual financial status and whether they will sell the Dutch midfielder to Manchester United.
3. Lisandro Martinez
This Argentine center-back, Martinez, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, where he will rejoin his former coach, Eric Ten Haag, at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have agreed on personal terms with the Argentine and are looking forward to sealing a deal with Ajax. Last week, the Eredivisie team rejected an initial fifty million Euros (€50 m) deal from Manchester United. However, they are currently open to selling the Argentine.
The successful transfer of Lisandro Martinez will add more defensive squad depth for the Manchester side. The Argentine will join an already star-studded defense if the deal pulls through. Some of these big names include Harry Maguire (Ten Haag’s captaincy choice), Raphael Varane (multiple times Champions League winner), Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw (dubbed to be present-day Roberto Carlos), Aaron Wan Bissaka (never misses a tackle), Alex Telles, among other defensive options.
Who is Lisandro Martinez?
Who is Lisandro Martinez? You might not need to scroll through numerous Youtube videos to get to know this guy. He is a quite notable left-footed center-back. Lisandro Martinez plays for Eredivisie’s side, Ajax, and has made 74 appearances for the Eredivisie side, scoring six (6) goals and providing five (5) assists. It is worth noting that Ten Haag occasionally fields a back-four side. Occasionally, he opts for a 4-3-3 high press formation, and other times he goes with a 4-3-2-1 formation. As a result, Lisandro Martinez might bench one of the center-backs or remain as a bench option or a Europa player considering the number of matches in the first half of the Premier League.
The phrase, Pogback, was a trend in August 2016. At that time, Manchester United fans worldwide celebrated his return to Old Trafford for a record fee, one hundred and five million Euros (€ 105 m). Despite all this, Pogba has again parted ways with the Red Devils to rejoin the Italian side, Juventus. Before this move, sources close to Pogba claimed that he was disgruntled at Manchester United. During this period, Labile was linked with some clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona. When Zinedine Zidane was coaching Real Madrid, he had taken a keen interest in him.
The France national joins Juventus on a free transfer for the second time (United seems to be doing the heavy lifting here). Paul Pogba is a Manchester United academy graduate but seems to have never settled comfortably for the Premier League side. He has not been consistent throughout his stay at United. It is worth noting that at the start of the 21/22 Premier League season, Labile Pogba had several stellar performances. However, this did not reflect over the rest of the season. Alex Ferguson, at one point, made a statement regarding the player’s discipline and cited it as a reason for concern. Moreover, he did not fail to acknowledge the exceptional skills Pogba possessed.
Despite all this, Pogba has contributed immensely to the last trophy the Manchester United team won. Most notable is his role in their Europa final versus Ajax back in the 16/17 season.
An active Manchester United transfer period
Ten Haag is active during this period. Cristiano Ronaldo might leave Manchester United; De Jong might agree to his transfer from Barcelona to Manchester United. There are numerous possibilities for Manchester United during this transfer period. The Red Devils might miss out on some transfers, lose some players, or complete unexpected player signings.
London rivals go head-to-head (Arsenal vs Chelsea) this Sunday at the Emirates and you don’t want to miss it. Here’s why
The past matches: Arsenal vs Chelsea
Although Chelsea won the last match when these two sides met, Arsenal have had the better of them in the early years of the rivalry. In terms of goals scored in the last 10 matches between the two sides, Arsenal boast scoring 16 goals against the Blues(14) goals. Since the first four meetings between the two sides we’ve seen plenty more action on the pitch so let’s focus on what happened post 2018: Arsenal beat Chelsea 5 times, drew 2 times and lost just 3; there were 30 goals scored. Chelsea scored 18 goals vs Arsenal during this period, while Arsenal netted 12 goals.
The recent times
Although arsenal have won 2 games out of 4 past Premier League fixtures between the two sides, Chelsea have been on a solid run lately. We must admit arsenal’s form recently has not been as good as they would’ve hoped for. It is worth noting that arsenal beat Chelsea last season both home and away, taking the double from Tuchel’s side. During the first leg, Lampard was still Chelsea’s coach where as in the second leg he had been replaced by the German coach Thomas Tuchel.
Last season Arsenal won 3-1 and proceeded to take 3 more points at Stamford Bridge winning 1-0 against Tuchel’s side. An early goal from Emile Smithe Rowe sealed the fate for the Champion League winners. Arsenal went on to finish in 8th place as Chelsea finished 4th, qualifying for a Champions League spot.
The Belgian who dominated the London derby
Eden Hazard was a popular name during Arsenal vs Chelsea fixtures in the past before he left Chelsea to join Real Madrid. Chanting of his name was a normal occurrence during past London derbies due to his prowess in giving Arsenal’s defence a hard time. [Jesse Lingard, Heung Min Son, and Eden Hazard, are some of the names that cause some discomfort for the Arsenal defense].
Current Form: Arsenal vs Chelsea
Chelsea has been a more stable side of late compared to their London rivals. However, Arsenal has a good record against the Blues and should not be rules out just yet. Chelsea, under Tuchel, beat Manchester City in the Champion’s League final, 1- 0. This marked their second Champions League trophy; Arsenal has none as per the time of this writing. Their endeavor to collect trophies did not stop their, since they went ahead to bag the UEFA Supercup trophy after beating Villarreal, the UEFA Europa winners, on penalties. Two trophies for Tuchel in a span of months.
Arsenal on the other hand have not bagged any trophy of late other than the FA Cup which they won in the 2019/20 season and a ceremonial Community Shield.
Contrast Premier League opener matches for the London rivals
The most recent fixtures saw Chelsea easily beat Crystal Palace 3-0 to mark the start of the season, and a possible Premier League trophy pursuit. Marcos Alonso gave the Blues an early lead from a free kick. The Spaniard fired the ball right past Vicente Guaita making it 1:0. The Crystal Palace keeper was supposedly caught unawares in this case. In the 40th minute Pulisic poached a rebounce ball from Guaita to make it 2:0, generally a tap-in. Several minutes after the break, Trevor Chalobah grabbed a debut goal, scoring from outside the box right past Guaita to make it 3:0 for the hosts. Intrestingly, the fans had prior urged Chalobah to shoot, and voila, a perfect strike to mark a debut.
A Gunner side lacking character and verve
Arsenal on the other hand had a very rough start to their campaign this season. The team lacked any attacking verve as they possessed the ball largely against newly promoted Brentford. Sergi Cannos fired a strike that went past Arsenal’s defence, right past Bernd Leno, making it 1-0 for the hosts – their first Premier League goal ever.
In the 73rd minute, Christian Nørgaard headed the ball into Arsenal’s net following a long deep throw into Arsenal’s box. That marked the second goal of the night. Aubamayeng and Lacazette were missing from the squad due to an illness. Whether they would have helped better the state of the Gunners is something that is not certain at the moment.
Aubamayeng has of late not scored for the Gunners. This is a rather worrying scenario for Arteta since in past seasons, the former Dortmund striker has been scoring almost half of Arsenal’s goals. On the other hand, Arsenal have being rumoured to make a move for Inter’s Lautaro Martinez to bolster their attack and rake in the goals.
The presence of yet another Belgian
Going into the weekend, it is not certain whether Lacazette and Aubameyang will be available to face the Blues. Lukaku on the other hand will be available to debut for his boyhood club, following his re-signing from Inter Milan. Will Romelu Lukaku wage war against Arsenal like his fellow Belgian team mate Hazard? Mason Mount has being on form for his side creating several chances for his side, a crucial midfielder indeed. Its not certain whether Tuchel will start Kai Havertz, however if the German starts, he may pivotal to Chelsea. The German scored the only goal in a past friendly against the Gunners.