Premier League: Arsenal vs Chelsea preview

Two sides looking for a lifeline will clash in a London derby on Saturday afternoon, when Arsenal host rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. The reverse fixture was a spectacular one, the Blues won it 3-2 with goals from Pedro, Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso, after Arsenal had fought back from 2-0 down with goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. That was the first victory for Chelsea over the Gunners after a seven-match drought. Each of the two sides has won one of the last six direct matches in all competitions, while the other four were draws.

Arsenal have won just one of their last four Premier League matches, but they can be encouraged by the fact that the three matches they didn't win were all away from home. In fact, the Gunners have won their last four home matches in the Premier League, including the memorable 4-2 victory over rivals Tottenham in the North London derby. However, their performance in the 1-0 defeat at West Ham last weekend was quite weak, the Gunners never seemed threatening enough in attack while the defence looked as penetrable as ever. Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Konstantinos Mavropanos remain on the injured list, but Hector Bellerin should be in the first eleven again after having recovered from his injury.

Chelsea had their own slip-ups lately, but they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches. They did start the new year with a disappointing goalless draw at home against Southampton, and then they lost 1-0 at Tottenham in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final tie. Last weekend the Blues edged past Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, the match ended 2-1 thanks to a great goal from Willian after the break. Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are still injured, while Danny Drinkwater and Alvaro Morata are also carrying knocks that will most likely prevent them from being part of the squad for this game.

Probable line-ups:

Arsenal: Leno - Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny - Bellerin, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac - Iwobi, Aubameyang - Lacazette

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso - Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic - Pedro, Hazard, Willian

My prediction: 1-1 draw, both sides will most likely be happy with such a result.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Arsenal win - 2.90
Draw - 3.50
Chelsea win - 2.30

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    The Gunners have been by far the better team in that one which have been expected to be a really close derby but it wasn't in the end.

    Arsenal have the complete control over the ball and the game in the first half and in fact they could of raise their lead even further than the two goals they've managed to score.

    Chelsea looking toothless up front without a classical central forward and too sloppy at the back(not just in this game) to expect any positives till the end of season if they continue to play like that.

    So the race for the top 4 is really open now.

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