Arsenal VS Chelsea – Combined XI | Premier League

Arsenal VS Chelsea - Combined XI | Premier League

Arsenal and Chelsea face each other in the Premier League in the Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 18th August 10:00 PM (IST)

The much anticipated London derby comes quite early this season. Both the sides have new men in charge, but it was Maurizio Sarri who got off to an ideal start as Chelsea comfortably beat Huddersfield 3-0 in their opening game of the campaign while Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by defending champions Manchester City.

Here, we pick the Combined XI among the stars of Arsenal & Chelsea for their upcoming Premier League fixture.

Goalkeeper – Petr Cech (Arsenal) 

Even though Chelsea‘s new boy Kepa carries bags of potential, we have not seen enough of him in the Premier League to make a fair judgement. On the other hand, Petr Cech is a Premier League veteran, and although he conceded 2 goals against City, he made a fair amount of World class saves.

Right-Back – Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

The experienced Spanish fullback who can also operate as a centre-back has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League in the recent years. Azpilicueta will be crucial in the match against their London rivals. 

Centre-back – Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

Many of Arsenal’s defensive woes were blamed on Mustafi; given, the German made his fair share of mistakes, he unquestionably seems more solid and confident in the new season.

Centre-back – David Luiz (Chelsea)

David Luiz has already started to make a revival of his career this year, putting in a decent performance against Huddersfield, after being shunned by former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Under Sarri, the 31-year-old Brazillian is seemingly content.  

Left-back – Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

The 27-year-old Spanish wing-back has been a constant threat on the left flank, scoring goals and providing assists consistently. Marcos Alonso will play a key role in the upcoming match.   

Centre Defensive Midfield – Jorginho (Chelsea)

Jorginho has slotted right into the Chelsea midfield and looks set to be irreplaceable under Sarri. The 26-year-old Italy international will be one of the most crucial players on the pitch in Sarri’s possession-based system.

Centre Defensive Midfield – N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

The short, sweet and impeccably athletic midfielder, N’Golo Kante returns to the Premier League after winning the World Cup with France this summer. And if he wasn’t already doing everything, he recently added scoring goals to the list.

Right Midfield – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Mesut Ozil is one of the best playmakers in the world. The German midfielder will take his time to find his best role in the team and the Gunners will be hoping he does it soon.

Left Midfield – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard has been one of the best players in the Premier League for quite some time now. The Belgian skipper has already started this season with some quite remarkable stats, which were made in just 14 minutes.

Striker – Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

As soon as Lacazette was injected against City, Arsenal looked more dangerous. If Unai Emery finds a way to star both of the world-class strikers at his disposal, the Gunners just might have one of the deadliest attacks in the Premier League.

Striker – Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

The partnership between Aubameyang and Lacazette seems to be forming into one of the most deadly attacks in the World. It will be intriguing to see them perform together in the Premier League.

Arsenal 8-0 Boreham Wood: The Unai Emery era begins with a bang

Arsenal 8-0 Boreham Wood

Arsenal thrashed Boreham Wood 8-0 in their first game under new manager Unai Emery. There was clear excitement and intrigue among the fans as their new manager took charge of his first game, and he couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. Even though it was just a pre-season friendly against a side which is of much lower calibre than Arsenal, the playing style is what got the fans going.

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Aubameyang scored a hat-trick inside the opening 17 minutes (7, 9, 17) before further goals from Reiss Nelson (35) and Alexandre Lacazette (39) gave the Gunners an ample half-time advantage. 11 changes were made in half-time which saw 11 new players come on to the pitch to impress.  Eddie Nketiah struck a sixth after the restart (53) and further goals from Jeff Reine-Adelaide (71) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (79) completed a confidence-boosting victory on Emery’s debut.

The first game for Arsenal this season unveiled a lot of qualities the fans were waiting to learn. Below are the 3 main takeaways from the game.

The Key Players seem ready

Even though this was a match against a much weaker side than Arsenal, it was an important one. One of the most significant findings is that the star players for Arsenal seem to be clicking.

A 17-minute hat-trick is a fabulous way to impress a new manager. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be quite pleased with his performance in the new system. His goalscoring ability was on full display and more importantly, his exchange with fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette was extremely effective. The forwards were excellent in their pass-and-move play with one another, they made runs that complimented the positions of the other and created a plethora of chances. The attacking pair showed tremendous promise.

Aaron Ramsey and Henrik Mkhitaryan came on in the second-half and displayed a sense of composure and tranquillity in a match that had already been won. They played numerous forward passes and linked up with the attackers wonderfully.

Papa fits right in

Sokratis started his first game in the Arsenal colors and he was as solid as he needed to be. At times, the Greek international was casual, but the majority of the half, he was a leader at the back and that is exactly what the Gunners lacked last season. The 30-year old was physically intimidating and a firm presence at the back whilst providing decent passes to the midfield. It was clear that Papastathopolous had fit right into Emery’s system and seemed destined to be a regular for the team.

The Future is bright

One of the most important roles of pre-season friendly is as a platform for the youth. And that is exactly what this match was for the young Gunners.

Eddie Nketiah knows how to score goals. After prospering in youth football last season, and further saving the first team in the EFL Cup against Norwich City, the 19-year-old is now prepared to stake a claim as a reliable back-up for Lacazette and Aubameyang in the first team. The English youngster executed a graceful, instinctive flick past the goalkeeper, using the momentum of a low cross to his advantage, simply directing the ball into the back of the net. Despite there being concerns about his consistency, his rawness, and his physicality, the natural ability to score goals is presen., and that is something that cannot be taught.

Emile Smith-Rowe is one of the brightest youngsters at Arsenal’s disposal right now. What was instantly remarkable was the quality and awareness of his touches. He flaunts excellent spatial intellect, often knowing exactly what he is going to do with the ball before he even receives it. Rowe also has excellent vision in the final third, and his decision making was remarkable. He was difficult to tackle, beat players with consistency, and commanded attention, which consequently created space for those around him. The 17-year-old was particularly industrious as he fulfilled the midfield role with vigor and flair.

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Reiss Nelson was as impressive as the fans expected him to be. The 18-year-old, who had already garnered plenty of attention due to his excellent performances for the U-23 team and some appearances for the first team last season, put his name on the scoresheet with a brilliant volley before half-time.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide was another player who caught the eye with a wonderful goal from outside the box. The 20-year-old returned to the club after a loan spell with Angers in Ligue 1. Jordi Osei-Tutu, 19, also had a decent game while Konstantinos Mavropanos20, was solid at the back with his fellow Greek teammate Sokratis.