The Gunners and the Blues will battle it out on Saturday evening in the London derby at the Emirates Stadium, with a Premier League top four finish at stake for both clubs.
Manchester United fans will be keeping a close eye on this game, as they will be very interested with who will drop points in this encounter, as they look to overtake Arsenal, and close the gap on Chelsea. Manchester United will be hoping for a draw in this match, as they would ideally like both top 4 rivals to drop points.
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea currently sit fourth in the table and lead both Unai Emery’s Arsenal and Manchester United by six points – a healthy gap, but one which could disappear within a week.
The Blues also sit only one point off Tottenham in third place, so a win in this London derby for the Blues, with put them in a very strong position in the top four.
A defeat for Arsenal would be a hammer-blow to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via the domestic route, as they would be nine points off the Blues, and would probably lose more ground on Tottenham in the top four race.
Also a defeat for Emery’s Reds could potentially lead to the Gunners slipping below Manchester United in sixth place, if United beat Brighton at the weekend, which they are expected to do.
A Arsenal loss would surely lead to Emery prioritising the Europa League for the rest of the season. However a Gunners win would blow open the top four race even more, and would reduce the gap to Chelsea to only three points.
So there is arguably more pressure on Arsenal going into this London derby.
Is this game televised in the UK?
Of Course it is! The coverage for this game starts at 5pm on BT Sport 1/2, With Kick Off at 5:30pm.
Recent form in the Premier League for both teams
Arsenal with be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan (broken metatarsal), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle), who are all ruled out of action.
Hector Bellerin returned off the bench in the defeat at West Ham, while Lucas Torreira should start after being rested.
The main call for Emery remains Mesut Ozil, who was left out of the squad at the weekend entirely despite being fit.
Even though Denis Suarez looks like signing for Arsenal in this window, It don’t look like happening anytime before the deadline of 12pm tomorrow, so he has no chance of being involved.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out for the Blues, while Sarri will be expected to persist with Eden Hazard in a false nine role leading the attack.77
Alvaro Morata looks like taking no part in this game, as he edges closer and closer to a January exit from Chelsea.
Gonzalo Higuain looks very likely to join Chelsea, with reports coming out yesterday that Chelsea and Juventus had agreed a deal for the Argentinian to reunite for Sarri. However it remains to be seen whether he will be registered in time, in order for him to make an appearance in the London derby on Saturday. So we will see what happens with that…
Predicted Arsenal line-up (3-4-3): Leno, Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Torreira, Monreal, Aubameyang, Iwobi, Lacazette.
Predicted Chelsea line-up (4-3-3): Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Pedro, Hazard, Willian.
Manager Comments ahead of this London derby
Arsenal Manager- Unai Emery (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery on Mesut Ozil: “I want consistency. He’s had some injuries and these injuries mean that sometimes he is okay and sometimes he isn’t okay.
“I want every player to give the same work everyday to be okay for every match. With Mesut it is the same.
“He didn’t play the last [four] matches but to me he’s just like any other player. This Saturday he can be with us if he’s okay.”
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri on the club’s transfer activity, which is overseen by director Marina Granovskaia: “I spoke with Marina two weeks ago, so Marina knows very well my opinion how to improve the team.
“Then I decide to be focused on the pitch, on matches, on training.
“I don’t call her every evening, otherwise I spend all my mental energy on the market and I think it’s better if I spend all my mental energies on the pitch.”
Head to Head record
These two sides have met on 196 occasions over the years in all competitions, with Arsenal having a slight better head to head record compared to Chelsea. The Gunners have beaten the Blues on 75 occasions in all competitions. There have been 58 draws between these two sides in all competitions. The Blues have beaten the Gunners on 63 occasions.
In terms of League head to head record, the Gunners still have a better head to head record. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea 62 times in the League over the years. There have been 49 draws between these two sides in the League. And the Blues have beaten the Gunners on 52 occasions in the League over the years.
Most recent meetings
The most recent meeting between these two sides, came right at the start of this season, where Chelsea just edged past Arsenal by 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
In terms of most recent meetings at the Emirates Stadium, these two sides met two times at the Emirates last season in different competitions. The first time last season when these two sides met at the Emirates was midway through last season, where both sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Premier League.
However the most recent meeting between these two sides at the Emirates came in the EFL Cup second leg where Arsenal beat the Blues by 2-1 to advance ot the final of the EFL Cup last season. However they lost 3-0 in the final to Manchester City.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Betfair have made Chelsea very slight favourites for this game to claim the win in the London derby, with a Chelsea win being priced at 11/8. A draw between these two sides in the derby is being priced at 19/10. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 27/10.
Other Betting Odds
First goalscorer odds
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7/2
- Eden Hazard: 5/1
- Alexandre Lacazette: 11/2
- Pedro: 6/1
My realistic prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw.
However my Optimistic prediction as a Chelsea fan for this game, is a tight 2-1 win to the Blues, with Hazard and Willian getting the goals for the Blues, and Aubameyang scoring the only goal for Arsenal.
Comment down below your score predictions for this game, and keep an eye out on my Match Report/Match Feature article from this London derby after the game.
By Danyal Khan