Chelsea vs Arsenal
TV: Sky Sports Main Evemt
Both Arsenal and Chelsea come into this game off the back of victories in their respective European matches, and should be buoyed by wins last weekend on the domestic front.
However that does not hide the fact that Arsenal fans will have concerns heading into this game. The recent record between these two at Stamford Bridge is 5 wins to nil for the Blues, with the aggregate score being 15 goals to 2. Arsenal will be hoping to turn this around and record their first away win of the season.
Chelsea will be seeking revenge after suffering huge losses to Arsenal in the FA Cup final and the Community Shield over their last two meets, and the signs look positive after an impressive few weeks for them. They demolished Qarabag in midweek and look close to firing on all cylinders. To add to their confidence Chelsea’s Player of the Year for last season, Eden Hazard, is likely to start after featuring as a substitute in the last two games. Furthermore Chelsea’s captain returns to Premier League duty after seeing out his suspension.
The big question heading into this is what formation they will be playing in. Recent away successes versus Leicester and Tottenham have stemmed from a change to a 3-5-1-1 formation, however with it being a home match Conte may opt for a more offensive shape of 3-4-3. Whatever he chooses, he will be hoping that Morata continues his imperious form up top which has seen him score 3 goals and assist 2 in the opening four Premier League fixtures.
Similarly to Chelsea, there is no certainty as to what formation may be chosen by Wenger. Arsenal capitulated recently to Liverpool with three at the back, and needed a switch to a four-man defence to overcome FC Köln on Thursday night. This switch allowed Sanchez more space in attack, which may convince Wenger that it’s the best option. Luckily for the Gunners, they have plenty of options to fill these formations as they have no suspension concerns and only Coquelin, Chambers and Cazorla out through injury.
After another strong performance on Thursday, Kolasinac is likely to get the nod ahead of Holding, who in comparison struggled against the German opposition. Additionally, Arsenal’s other key summer signing, Lacazette, will likely start to give the Gunners some much needed pace up front in order to counter attack against the Blues. With Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in support, Arsenal do look a force to be reckoned with on paper, however whether they can be mentally resilient and overcome their Stamford Bridge hoodoo remains to be seen.
Prediction: Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1
Written by Theo Atherton-Green.