The London Derby is here! Chelsea and Arsenal take on each other at the Stamford Bridge in a game that could prove as a Litmus test for both oppositions. Both Clubs are in similar situations, the arrival of a new manager, a change in the system and no clear direction in which they’re progressing. The London Derby is an exciting one and though we don’t know what to expect we can hopefully have a good game of Football.
Chelsea are coming off of a dominant 3-0 win against minnows Huddersfield Town while Arsenal expectedly went down against Champions Manchester City in a 2-0 loss at home. Chelsea have the winning momentum, but Arsenal have been pretty impressive in Pre-Season.
Chelsea- Former Arsenal Midfielder, Cesc Fabregas is recovering from a knee Injury and may not attain full fitness in time to make the XI. Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen are both in contention to replace the Centre-Back duo of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger. Apart from Fabregas, Maurizio Sarri has a fully fit squad, and the Manager will have some serious selection issues, especially in Midfield. With Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Drinkwater, and Mateo Kovacic all in contention to start alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in Midfield.
Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta | Jorginho, Kante, Barkley | Hazard, Morata, Willian
Arsenal- Youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles is out for two months with a fractured leg he joins Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson in the list of injured Gunners. Unai Emery has some significant concerns in defence with Nacho Monreal in early stages of recovery, but the Spaniard’s return could be rushed considering Arsenal need to deploy a Left-Back. New Signing Lucas Torreira should start alongside Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey. Danny Welbeck has also returned to full training.
Predicted XI: Cech | Monreal, Mustafi, Sokratis, Bellerin | Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey | Mkhitaryan, Aubameiyang, Ozil
Chelsea- Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has completed 50 take-ons in the Premier League against only one team; the most he's managed vs. a single opposition.
That team is Arsenal. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/iH5irGrov4
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 17, 2018
Hazard relishes a challenge, and it doesn’t get any bigger than facing Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. The talismanic Belgian played 14 Minutes against Huddersfield and bamboozled David Wagner’s defence and even assisted Pedro in the fag end of the game. Hazard would be vital for Chelsea again, especially considering Alvaro Morata’s goalscoring record has been underwhelming at best.
Arsenal- Mesut Ozil
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) August 15, 2018
Mesut Ozil is a Luxury player of sorts, his work-rate isn’t impressive and unless you have a team full of Goalscorers Ozil can look a little out of place. But when Ozil gets going the opponent better watch out! Slick passes and terrific vision, an in-form Ozil is a delight to watch. Unai Emery will be hoping Mesut Ozil can come good against Chelsea.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
It will be tight, but I’m giving Chelsea the edge considering they’re playing at home have a better Midfield that the gunners and have no injury concerns in defence. Arsenal does seem to have enough firepower to score, but I don’t see the Gunners pulling through.