A Late Kick-off London Derby to Look Forward to

Last updated: September 21, 2016 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 5.30pm
Venue: The Emirates
Coverage: BT Sport 1
Home form: LDWWW
Away form: WWWDL
Last season: Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: The Premier League

It’s fourth place versus fifth at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon as two teams who have made almost identical starts to the season meet for a London derby. Arsenal host Chelsea, who sit one place behind the Gunners on 10 points after both teams have started with 3 wins, a draw and a loss. Breaking it down a little further hints that the Gunners have the advantage here. While both teams sit on the same points, Arsenal started slowly with a loss and then a draw, followed by 3 consecutive wins as they returned to form. Chelsea on the other hand won their first 3 matches, but have since drawn against Swansea before losing to Liverpool.

Since Wenger has had his star players back at his disposal, Arsenal look much more like their old selves. Alexis Sánchez is in scintillating form, currently being utilised as a striker. This has meant that new signing Lucas Pérez has remained on the bench as Wenger looks to ease him into life in the Premiership. The manager will be looking for more from his defence however. Shkodran Mustafi hasn’t particularly impressed after his move from Valencia, though he has been solid enough and shown signs of developing an understanding with partner Laurent Koscielny. This match will be the pair’s toughest test to date however and they will need to step up their game if Arsenal are to keep a clean sheet and increase their chances of a win.

Chelsea’s form has moved in the opposite direction from Arsenal. After surrendering a lead against Swansea before eventually earning a late draw, Chelsea lost last week at home to Liverpool. On the whole though it has been a fairly strong start by new manager Antonio Conte. But surprisingly for a manager with such a strong defensive mentality, it is here where the problems currently lie. One clean sheet in 5 is less than expected and Conte will be hoping that John Terry is passed fit to start but this is doubtful. The attack is currently looking ferocious however. Diego Costa already has 5 goals to his name, while although Hazard’s form has dropped a little in the last 2 matches, he has looked to be getting back to his old self and is off the mark with a goal and assist. Add Willian and Oscar to the mix and Arsenal will certainly have their work cut out for them to stop Chelsea scoring.

Team News

Arsenal are slowly but surely finding their way back to full strength, although Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are still injured.

While Alexis Sánchez is sure to start, it is not certain whether he will continue to play as a striker or if Arsene Wenger will introduce Lucas Perez into the starting line up, with Sánchez playing a little deeper

Chelsea will be hoping that John Terry is declared fit to play in time for the match. If not though, David Luiz should keep his place in the centre of defence.

There are no fresh injury concerns and Antonio Conte is likely to stick with his preferred starting 11, although Cesc Fabregas is pushing for inclusion after a solid performance in the EFL Cup midweek.

Expected line-ups:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Özil, Iwobi, Sánchez
Subs: Gibbs, Pérez, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Holding, Xhaka, Elneny
Injured: Mertesacker, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Giroud, Welbeck
Not available:
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Kanté, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa
Subs: Begovic, Alonso, Fàbregas, Pedro, Moses, Batshuayi, Aina
Injured: Zouma
Doubtful: Terry
Not available:

So far this season

. . .
Arsenal this season Chelsea this season
4th League Position 5th
1 (2) (at home) Wins (away) 2 (1)
4-1 vs. Hull Biggest win 3-0 vs. Burnley
0 (1) (at home) Draws (away) 0 (1)
3-4 vs. Livepool Biggest Defeat 1-2 vs. Liverpool
Alexis Sánchez (3) Top scorer Diego Costa (5)
Alex Iwobi (3) Assist Leader Eden Hazard (1)
Y9, R0 Discipline Y15, R0
1 Failures to score 0
1 Clean Sheets 1
4 Both Teams to Score Games 4
4 Over 2.5 Games 5
1 Under 2.5 Games 0
  • Arsenal are unbeaten after losing on the first day of the season and are only getting better as their team returns to full strength. Alexis Sánchez is in fine scoring form and will be expecting to score against a Chelsea defence that has managed 1 clean sheet so far.
  • In contrast, Chelsea won their first 3 games in a row before slipping up at Swansea and then losing at the hands of Liverpool. They will be looking to bounce back then, which will depend strongly on whether Diego Costa can continue his excellent scoring run.
  • Arsenal have only failed to score once, but have also only kept 1 clean sheet. With the defensive partnership of Mustafi and Koscielny getting better with each game, will they be able to add to their clean sheet tally?
  • Chelsea have a similar issue, though they have managed to score in each game. A goal from Hazard or Diego Costa looks likely then against an Arsenal defence with 1 clean sheet to its name.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
24/01/2016 Premier League Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea  Diego Costa 23′
19/09/2016 Premier League Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal Zouma 53′
02/08/2015 Community Shield Arsenal 1 – 0 Chelsea Oxlade-Chamberlain 24′
26/04/2015 Premier League Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea
05/10/2014 Premier League Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal Hazard 27′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

This is set to be one of those fiery affairs where anything can happen. Add into the mix that it’s a London derby and you’d expect fireworks in this one. Arsenal are the bookie’s favourites and we agree with this and think that the Gunners will prove too much for a faltering Chelsea. Priced at around 11/8, this is perhaps worth a punt. The stats from the teams’ matches so far indicates that over 2.5 goals is almost a certainty. However, looking at the past 5 meetings between the two sides, we see that all these games have featured under 2.5 goals. This is priced at around 43/40 at bet365 and would be our slightly less obvious tip.