Mouth-watering London derby between strugglers Arsenal and strong Chelsea
Chelsea to win 2-1
The statistics continue to look worse for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side, as they slump to their worst start since the 1970s.
There cannot be much more of this that the Arsenal board can take before they seek to make chances in management at the club, but perhaps a match against close London rivals Chelsea is what The Gunners need to spark them into life right now?
Or perhaps playing one of the most dangerous sides in the league is what will kill them off entirely. Either way, Arsenal must start to play with much more quality than they have shown of late. Their defeat against Everton showed some positives, but no where near enough.
Chelsea have not been perfect either of late, winning at the weekend against West Ham to bounce back from successive defeats in the league.
Frank Lampard is still looking to find his best side, but there is no doubting the quality which he holds within his squad.
Form Guide (all comps): LWLDL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Derby match may inspire better performance
Chelsea have shown weaknesses recently
Reasons to be fearful:
Only four points off bottom three show extent of problem
Home form is even worse than away
Despite a lot of talk over the past week about what would happen if Arsenal are relegated, including the players facing a 25% wage cut, the reality is that Arsenal will not be going down this season.
Their form is shocking, but they will earn enough points over the course of the season to be comfortably safe, perhaps even break into the top half of the table if they can find some improvement in their performances.
They’ve also seen some good performances from their youngsters, such as Nketiah, Saka and Maitland-Niles to name a few. The experience they are getting will no doubt help their careers progress sooner rather than later.
In a derby, many things can happen which wouldn’t usually, and Arsenal may be spurred on by the occasion of a fixture against their old rivals.
Star Man – Bukayo Saka
Probably Arsenal’s best player this season, which is not saying much, but will be a top player if he continues to progress as fast as he has done.
Form Guide (all comps): WDLLW
Reasons to be cheerful
Showed real quality to thrash West Ham 3-0
Having Pulisic back is a welcome boost
Reasons to be fearful
Have been far better at home than away
The likes of Werner and Havertz have faded
The positive side of being Chelsea football club is that when one or two of your players show a dip in form, there are always one or two others to bring in to replace them.
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have not been performing quite up to scratch of late, with the former going all of nine games without finding the back of the net. The solution? Lampard brings in Tammy Abraham who scores two against West Ham.
Chelsea have such a rich squad of players that there should always been someone in form at a particular time. Thiago Silva also had a great game last weekend and is showing his value at the back.
They can return into the top four with a win here, which they are favourites to do, but in a derby anything’s possible.
Star Man – Christian Pulisic
Chelsea have missed the American’s inventiveness in and around the box, something which could be key against Arsenal.
An entertaining London derby
Chelsea will enjoy more possession but Arsenal could spring surprise
If Chelsea score first Arsenal could lose confidence
On paper, this looks like a comfortable win for Chelsea, however derby matches rarely follow the script when it comes to previous form.
Arsenal will not want to embarrass themselves against a close rival and will be expected to put in a better performance than those of late.
Chelsea are still favourites, but it could be closer than form would suggest.
Chelsea to win 2-1