Big London Derby!
Chelsea travel to the Emirates on Boxing day as we take on 15th placed Arsenal with the gunners 4 points above the relegation zone and winless in the league since November 1st. Arsenal have been in really poor form this season having won only 4 of their 14 games and lost 8 of them. The poor results have kept on coming and while the fans begin to voice their concerns it seems like Arteta is here to stay regardless. The FA Cup win and win against United in the league seems like distant memories for a team that has nothing going for them at the moment and Arteta seems to have no clue how to fix it. They have scored only 12 goals in the league while conceding 18 so they are neither conceding goals but they aren’t scoring them either and that’s allowing teams to pick them off with a goal or two.
Chelsea go into this game sitting 5th in the table and win could see us go 2nd in the table if results elsewhere go our way. We were able to end a run of two defeats with a hard fought win against West Ham on Monday and now we head into another London derby. The first step to progress is to accept where one can improve and for Chelsea that area is when we face struggling teams. Too many a times do we come up against teams in poor form and give them a needless win which is then followed by more poor form. It happened with Wolves more recently and now Arsenal turn up and the Chelsea of old would give Arsenal an out of context win but we cannot let that happen. We have a week of rest and we have a strong set of players that are well ahead of Arsenal’s and we should be winning this game. It’s a London derby and that brings a certain fire to the game but Lampard and Chelsea will be more than up for it.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea might be without Reece James and Ben Chilwell who suffered injuries last week. The two are set to come back soon but maybe this game could be too soon. According to Lampard Ziyech will not be available either which is a slight downer. The rest of the squad should be available and fit to play. Mendy will keep his place in goal with Azpilicueta and Emerson as the full backs. Zouma and Silva should continue as the centre backs. Kante, and Mount will most likely continue in their midfield roles but Havertz should replace Jorginho. Kovacic could play in the Havertz’s place though with the German making an impact from the bench. Pulisic and Werner should be our wingers with Giroud replacing Tammy up front to keep things fresh. There should be plenty of depth on the bench to cause damage with potentially Havertz, Kova, Jorginho, Tammy, Gilmour, and Hudson-Odoi all available. From minute 1 Chelsea need to stamp their authority on the game and be clinical in front of goal and with our chances. If it were up to me though I would play Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, and Werner as the front three. That is a pacy force that any team will find hard to handle.
Arsenal Team Preview
Partey is out, with Aubameyang and Martinelli also doubts for the game. Xhaka and Gabriel are back after suspensions due to red cards they received in previous games. Leno should return to goal after missing the Carabao Cup game while the 3 at the back should be Gabriel, Luiz, and Tierney. Maitland-Niles and Saka should continue as the wing backs with Ceballos and El-Neny in midfield. Pepe and willian should play either side of Lacazette. Arsenal and Arteta have their defensive style of football and they like to sit back and counter and while that may make Chelsea find creative avenues to beat them the defensive block should be broken down. Willian and Pepe can always be a threat while Lacazette is a good striker regardless of current form.
Starting XI Prediction
Chelsea and Arsenal is always a great game just because there are always narratives around it. From having Wenger and Mourinho at one point to now having Lampard and Arteta there are many moving threads to pick from. Top of the table clashes to a team fighting for the top 4 and a team trying to survive relegation. It’s going to be a fun game but as a Chelsea fan Chelsea have to take this game by collar and get a good win against Arsenal. It is time to end this tendency to help out charity cases and start pushing towards the top. COME ON CHELSEA!!!