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Chelsea Vs Arsenal PL Match Preview

An opening loss against Manchester City makes this game that little bit tougher, as we go to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.

 

The fixture list wasn’t kind to Arsenal, and had no reprieve for Unai Emery’s new regime, with the last two winners of the Premier League as our opening two opponents. It means Unai Emery may be waiting a wee while before getting his first win.

 

Still, Blues boss Mauricio Sarri is also dealing with a new club and new players, so this game will be a truer vision of where we stand for this current campaign. We have a better chance in this game than against a rampant and unmatched City team, and Emery will have watched Chelsea’s opening day win over Huddersfield very closely for any signs of weakness that we can exploit.

 

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We could change a few things in our team, but one of them won’t be who takes the gloves. Emery alluded to the fact that Cech will again start the game in his press conference, ahead of summer signing Bernd Leno, so the Czech stopper will get the chance to play against his former team.

 

Our defence will be boosted by the return of Nacho Monreal – and just in the nick of time. With Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles out for the foreseeable, the Spaniard will be a welcome addition. Stephan Lichtsteiner played well on the left, and his solidarity and experience at the back may just oust Hector Bellerin in this tough away fixture.

 

In midfield, another summer signing, Lucas Torreira, may come in to tighten things up in the face of Jorginho and Kante. Matteo Guendouzi played well against City despite his errors, and his mobility and transitional play were a highlight, and could be vital at The Bridge.

 

A lot has been said about incorporating Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette into the same side, but this game may see Lacazette remain on the bench, and Emery may wait to unleash both players together for a slightly less fraught game where defensive solidarity will be just as important as firepower.

 

It will see Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil play just behind the Gabon striker, and our bench should be a strong one, with Lacazette, Iwobi, Welbeck and perhaps Xhaka waiting to come on when needed.

 

Our recent record versus Chelsea is strong, but on our last six visits to Stamford Bridge, we have one point, with very few goals to show for it too. We have lacked in away games versus the so called ‘Top6’ in the last few seasons – a win here would show that Emery is making good progress on our squad.

 

Our new coach will be looking to squeeze the best out of his squad, but this will take some time to achieve, so a tight game is on the cards. Expect Chelsea to hit us hard, and with Hazard ready to start after appearing as a late sub last weekend, we know how we could be hurt if we lose concentration.

 

Then there is the small matter of Olivier Giroud making an appearance, with most fans still affectionate for the French striker. Giroud may start too, as Morata is desperately short of confidence in front of goal.

 

Three points is a big ask, but with an attack as potent as ours, if we click then we can take the win. We will have to utilise our pressing and make precious few errors though, as Chelsea looked in great shape in their win over Huddersfield.

 

Keep the faith Gooners – and remember that we need patience to see the fruits of Emery’s work. UTA.

 

Predicted Lineup – Cech, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.

 

Predicted scoreline – 2-1 to The Arsenal

Arsenal 3 – 0 Chelsea – 5 Things We Learned

Every now and then, life clicks. The variables that normally clash and crunch together, causing no end of problems and strife, suddenly meet harmoniously and your passage is smoother than a Mesut Ozil slide-rule pass.

One of these variables is the Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez triumvirate. All three have the qualities that benefit the other parts of the trinity, but thanks to injury and poor form, like a misfiring sports car, the full potential is rarely seen.

This game though, saw these three hugely talented players hit top gear and blast Chelsea with full force, and at half time, we were three goals to the good thanks to goals from all three. 

It wasn’t just the goals that made this game perfect viewing. Even in the mundane activities, we managed to rub Chelsea’s nose in it. We made them look ordinary, we did everything right. Even the match stats were wildly in our favour. Simply because in every minute, on every patch of the pitch – we were better. 

The first half is perhaps the best football that we have materialised for quite some time. The aesthetically pleasing Wengerball has been remiss for a while now, but it rose up into our eyeline like a majestic salmon, and chants of ‘Ole’ were ringing around The Emirates as our team toyed with Chelsea like a disintered cat pawing at a mouse that had quite clearly taken too many hits and was willing the pearly gates to appear.

What can we take from the game? So many things, as this game will be talked about for some time. It was so pleasing to see the passing formations come to fruition, and Chelsea’s approach was made irrelevant, as if they had brought their much fabled bus, we would have simply ripped it in half. 

Iwobi played on Tuesday in the EFL Cup, but no fatigue was prevalent, and he buzzed around the pitch. Mustafi and Koscielny are blooming together – any partnership that contends successfully with Costa has cause for celebration – and Hector Bellerin looks to have come out of his own mini-slump. 

In short, our team was on fire. For our fourth League win on the trot, we picked the best opponent to unsheath our finest play!

There was simply no stopping us in this game, but here are five key points from the game – 

This display will be used as a yardstick, and a stick to beat us

Much like Oxlade-Chamberlain, we know what we are capable of, so to see us underperform is frustrating. Now we have witnessed our excellent parts work as a beautiful machine? Well, we now want that in most matches, and when we fall below this bar, then criticism will follow. We played football that was packaged in pure silk, and it was used to bludgeon an opponent that had given us many scars. This performance gives us hope for the season, but it could also be a horrible reminder of what we could be. Let us hope for the former.

Coquelin still has a place

Before going off with injury in the 31st minute, Francis Coquelin was enjoying every minute, gleefully running around the blades of grass and destroying every part of Chelsea’s build-up play. He has his uses, and we all know his limitations toward attack, but in terms of his strengths? Not many in the league, never mind in our team, does what he does better. Let us hope he is back soon. Xhaka may be the present, and the future, but Coquelin is a player we need in our squad. 

Ozil is back on form.

The best players, even when the inevitable dips in form occur, can still contribute towards the game. Ozil has been well short of his own particular standards so far this campaign, but this could well rank as one of his finest 90 minutes in our shirt. His touch was pure sex, his awareness is derived from the gods. He was clearly enjoying every minute, and he was more than pumped for this game. He deceptively covers more ground than most people think, but he was tracking back with as much fervour as Alexis at times.  His goal, which he started by making Kante look like a lost little boy, needs to be watched repeatedly to remind any doubters what he does. We love you Mesut.

First Sanchez tapping the Cannon, now Ozil. So very happy with this.

Alexis to stay as a striker, for now

This issue has garnered much debate, but the results speak for themselves. Alexis may feel more comfortable on his native left, but he has the building blocks for a striker, and his numbers are evidence. As long as he continues to hit the net, then Giroud and Lucas may be twiddling their thumbs for a while longer. His finish to open the scoring was sumptuous, and answers any queries regarding where he can play. The little Chilean can play where he wants!

Theo is back

Theo divides opinion like Moses parted the Red Sea. He has had long periods, even seasons, when his form has seen him put in displays that have no part at the club. This season though, he has gone back to basics. Used his main strength in the right way, and he has made one simple change. He is working harder. As a result, he has stayed in the team, and is making things happen. On a consistency basis, Theo has been one of our best players so far this campaign. Like Marmite, whether you love or loathe him, you cannot argue he is effective. He may still lose the ball a little too much, but so does Alexis. Keep doing what you’re doing Walcott, and you will easily surpass your best ever season. Keep working hard.