Chelsea v Arsenal Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups
Waking up on a Sunday morning with the thoughts of the ram meat you ate last night can be a very nice feeling. Just when I thought I was going to have an uneventful Sallah day, I got a call from one of my Muslim bosses at work that stated that he was having a ram barbeque party in his spot. I quickly removed my suit (went for a wedding) and geared up for the ram-fest. The rest they say was history…
To non-ram related matters, Chelsea and Arsenal host each other in what proves to be a pulsating encounter. When you think about the history between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, you’d know that they’d want to give everything to get a victory. Their personal head to head record speaks in huge volumes as Mourinho hasn’t lost in 11 encounters with his French counterpart. Instead, it has eendedwith six Mourinho victories and five draws. Would Wenger get that elusive victory today? #QuestionForTheGods
Chelsea and Arsenal are the only unbeaten sides in the Premier League and I have a hunch that one team would lose that record today. With six league games gone, Chelsea has won five of them and managed a draw against Manchester City (Frank Lampard haha), while the Gunners have won two and drawn four. Today’s game kicks off at 2.05pm, and as I’ve learned, those extra five minutes are for revenue from ads.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last six league and cup games against Arsenal (W4, D2), scoring 12 times and conceding just twice. The Gunners haven’t kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in their last nine visits. Chelsea has also kept nine clean sheets in their last 11 home league games but this season, their goalscoring form is the best in the division as they have banged in 19 goals, with a certain Diego Costa scoring eight of them. It’s also awkward to know that it took Fernando Torres 48 games to score eight league goals for Chelsea (Costa did it in six games) and he cost 18 million quid more than the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard.
Arsenal’s goalie, Wojciech Szczesny, has revealed that keeping Costa quiet will be vital to the Gunners. Well, it’s simple – all with need to do is to inject the DNA of Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala in the Gunners’ central defensive pairing. Capiche!
The Gunners need no introduction about Cesc Fabregas, that currently leads the assists charts this season (with Swansea’s Gyifl Sigurdsson) and he has 76 league assists in total which ranks him seventh in the all-time Premier League list.
His transfer saga from FC Barcelona to Chelsea was well documented and some Arsenal fans have refused to agree that he has moved on. Funnily enough, he still talks about how he loves the club from time to time but he can only ‘prove’ that love by gifting the Gunners a goal. I’m sure that would be hilarious.
Despite the fact that the Gunners have a shambolic record at Stamford Bridge, they can still take solace in the fact that they have beaten Chelsea there more than any other Premier League side (seven times). Nigel Winterburn blasted a surface-to-missile that won the tie for the Gunners in 1997, Kanu Nwankwo scored a scintillating hat-trick in 1999 and who can forget the Robin van Persie-inspired victory in 2011. Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 Barclays Premier League games since defeat at Stamford Bridge in March.
I expect to see the same lineup that featured against Galatasaray but I have the feeling that Jack Wilshere might be fit enough to start ahead of Santi Cazorla in midfield. One would be hoping that Mathieu Flamini brings his A-game and thank heavens that Andre Marriner wouldn’t be the referee today, because Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be playing.
Chelsea: Didier Drogba (ankle, thank Heavens) and Ramires (groin)
Arsenal: Matt Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (foot), Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott (both knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring), Mikel Arteta (calf), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Abou Diaby (hip)
- Last Five League Games: W W W D W
- Last League Result: Chelsea 3 Aston Villa 0
- Last Five League Games: D D D W D
- Last League Result: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1
Gooner Daily Prediction Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
It’s time to go pray for those rams that were slaughtered yesterday.
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