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Huge London clash sees leaders Arsenal tested by fierce rivals Chelsea
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: London, Stamford BridgeBet Now
Arsenal face another challenge of their title credentials this weekend when they travel to fierce London rivals Chelsea.
Like last weekend, the Gunners could find that they are 2nd in the table by the time this kicks off due to Manchester City’s earlier fixture.
Mikel Arteta’s men were also in action in Europe on Thursday evening, meaning that they have had less time to prepare for this game than their rivals. It’s a huge test of their stamina and quality here.
Chelsea are not quite the team that Graham Potter wants them to become. Despite a positive start to life at Stamford Bridge, the Blues haven’t won any of their last three league games and have slipped down the table.
They have seen both Newcastle and Manchester United overtake them in recent weeks and they must overcome a tough test here to return to winning ways.
These are the games that everyone looks forward to.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Unbeaten at home under Potter
Have had an extra day’s rest compared to Arsenal this week
Reasons to be fearful:
Ben Chilwell’s injury will keep him out for a while
Defeat to Brighton last weekend showed weaknesses
Graham Potter won’t have enjoyed his return to Brighton last weekend, only to watch his new team get beaten comfortably by his old one.
Brighton were every bit the team that Potter used to manage – one of flair, attacking intent and great organisation. He doesn’t yet have those with Chelsea, judging by their latest set of results.
On the plus side, Chelsea qualified for the next stage of the Champions League in midweek, showing that Potter’s side are bubbling under the surface. Whether he can keep them there next season is the question.
Their record against Arsenal hasn’t been great over the past few seasons, winning just one of their last six meetings in all competitions.
This would be an excellent time to change that and pick up their first win in four.
Star Man – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The ex-Arsenal player will receive a frosty reception from the away fans here, but he has the ability to win this game for his new club. Arsenal’s defenders will fear his quality and pace in behind.
Reasons to be cheerful
Have beaten the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool this season
The Gunners have the joint-second best defensive record in the league
Reasons to be fearful
Played in Europe on Thursday
Gabriel Jesus has gone eight games without a goal
For all the negativity about Arsenal’s staying power at the top of the league, they don’t appear to be going anywhere just yet.
The Gunners have faced big tests already this season, from the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United. While they lost against United, they claimed six points against Spurs and Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Over the last six games, a draw against Southampton is their only blot, but their excellent run of form means that they remain two points clear of Manchester City at the top.
Fears surrounding a potential injury to Bukayo Saka have been eased, with the forward on the bench for their midweek European game.
The question is how will they cope against their former striker, Aubameyang, who Chelsea will hope can haunt his former club here?
Star Man – Bukayo Saka
Fortunately for Arsenal, and England, Saka’s injury that forced him off last weekend was not serious and he should be fit to return here. He is electric when in top form.
Always plenty of goals between these two
Could be an end-to-end game
Can Aubameyang score against his old club?
When we see Chelsea and Arsenal face off, we usually see a game of goals.
A total of 35 goals have been scored over their past 10 meetings in all competitions, with both sides usually netting in each.
The main focus will be on Aubameyang playing against his old team and whether he can find the net.
It’s going to be close to call a winner and that’s how it may translate on the pitch.
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
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