ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 4:30 PM
Venue: Emirates Stadium (London)
There’ll be some early-season pressure on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta should his side not get a positive result here following their embarrassing Premier League (PL) defeat at newly-promoted Brentford. The club’s huge spend this summer adds further expectation but Arteta might also be cursing fixture officials who greenlighted this encounter being moved to a Sunday – the ‘Gunners’ haven’t beaten Chelsea in their last ten PL meetings on this day (D2, L8).
Arsenal’s much-changed attack (due to Covid-19) was busy enough at Brentford, hitting 22 shots which was more than any other side across that gameweek, yet they were still one of only five sides not to score, suggesting their shooting accuracy needs improvement. A poignant point considering they scored one goal or less in four of their final seven PL home games in 2020/21.
Things are much happier in the Chelsea camp as Thomas Tuchel aims to follow up last week’s opening day victory over Crystal Palace by guiding his side to a fifth straight London derby away win, a feat they’ve not achieved since back in 2006 under José Mourinho. In their ‘arsenal’ against Arsenal is superstar forward and record signing Romelu Lukaku who’s back at Chelsea for a second stint.
They can’t risk getting overconfident though as Arsenal have been a thorn in their side recently. Chelsea have come out on top in just three of the last 14 competitive H2Hs, losing each of the previous three. Notably, they conceded before HT in those three defeats.
Players to watch: Recently signing a new deal, Arsenal prospect Emile Smith Rowe scored his two PL goals last season during his final four appearances, both came before HT and one was vs Chelsea. Expecting to make his first appearance since returning, Chelsea’s Lukaku netted on his PL debuts with Everton and Manchester United.
- Arsenal’s form in last 5 matches: LLLWW.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: WWDDW.
PREDICTION: Away Win