Will Sarri win his first home match as Chelsea boss?

Last updated: August 15, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30 pm
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WDLLW
Away Form: DWDWL
Last Meeting: Arsenal 2 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: EPL

There’s no let up for Arsenal and new boss Unai Emery already this season, as his side take the short trip to West London to face Chelsea, having lost at home to champions Manchester City in their opening match last weekend.

Chelsea and their new boss, Maurizio Sarri, had things much easier. An away trip to Huddersfield was never going to pose the same problems, despite new players and a new formation being employed. Despite a comfortable win, the potential of this Chelsea team under Sarri is still unclear. The manager himself has said it will take time to gel and achieve results, but, should Chelsea put in another dominant performance, this time against top six rivals, then the Premier League big boys will definitely start to take notice. Particularly impressive was the midfield pairing of new signing Jorghino with World Cup winner N’golo Kanté. The two showed a great understanding and could prove to be the league’s most effective midfield pairing. Having two such talented players in the centre of the park will also allow Chelsea’s attackers to shine even more. Eden Hazard looked sharp in his cameo substitute role and he should start here. Having Hazard on the pitch will take Chelsea up another notch and he may prove the difference between the two sides.

There was no dream start for Unai Emery in his first competitive match in charge of Arsenal. In fact, many of Arsenal’s problems of the last few seasons still seemed present, with slack defending, poor transition from defence to attack, and a frustrated crowd all present at the Emirates. The opponents will get easier, but in this case, only slightly. If Arsenal are to take anything from this match, then they must start with defending better. Petr Cech looked uncomfortable as Arsenal attempted to play the ball out from the back, while Matteo Guendouzi, the 19 year old new signing entrusted in the holding midfield role, understandably never looked comfortable. Lucas Torreira, if deemed fully fit, should replace him here. Arsenal fans must accept that change and improvement will take time. While two consecutive defeats to start the season will be difficult to swallow, it’s a distinct possibility. Nevertheless, the Gunners must first start with eliminating the mistakes of seasons past and then surely, the results will follow.

Team News

Chelsea should welcome Eden Hazard back to the starting lineup. The Belgian featured as a substitute last week as he returns from his World Cup exploits.

New signing Kepa Arrizabalaga had little to do against Huddersfield, but we should get a better look at Chelsea’s new keeper here.

Lucas Torreira may start in midfield as Emery will look for more stability in the centre of the park.

The biggest question for Emery is whether to start with Andre Lacazette upfront alongside Aubameyang.

Expected Line-Ups:

Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kanté, Jorginho, Barkley, Hazard, Morata, Willian
Subs: Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Caballero, Moses, Giroud, Zappacosta, Christensen
Doubtful: Fàbregas
Not available:
Arsenal (4-3-3): Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Lichsteiner, Torreira, Xhaka, Özil, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Subs: Elneny, Lacazette, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Iwobi, Leno
Injured: Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac
Doubtful: Maitland-Niles, Welbeck
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season Arsenal This Season
2nd League Position 15th
0 (1) Wins (away) 0 (0)
3-0 v Huddersfield Biggest Win
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Defeat 0 – 2 v Man City
Jorginho (1) Top Goal Scorer
Y1, R0 Discipline Y2, R0
0 Failures to Score 100%
100% Clean Sheets 0
0 Both Teams to Score Games 0
100% Over 2.5 Goals 0
0 Under 2.5 Goals 100%
  • There’s not much in the way of stats having played just one game, but Chelsea managed to score three goals away from home on the opening day of the season.
  • The Gunners had it much tougher, losing at home to Champions Manchester City. While this one may not be as tough, Arsenal won’t have home advantage.
  • Looking back, Chelsea have performed poorly against Arsenal recently, having won just once in the last seven meetings between the two, drawing three and losing three.
  • Arsenal have had it tough on season openers in recent years, losing to West Ham in 2015 and Liverpool in 2016. They beat Leicester with two late goals last season, their first opening day win since 2012.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
24/01/2018 League Cup Arsenal 2 – 1 Chelsea Rüdiger OG 12’
10/01/2018 League Cup Chelsea 0 – 0 Arsenal
03/01/2018 EPL Arsenal 2 – 2 Chelsea Wilshere 63′
17/09/2017 EPL Chelsea 0 – 0 Arsenal
06/08/2017 Community Shield Arsenal 1 – 1 Chelsea Moses 46′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Unai Emery must have winced when he first looked at the fixture list for the season. After this though, the fixtures lighten up significantly. With that in mind, a draw here will seem a good result, that the Gunners can move on from and start to pick up wins.

But Chelsea will see no reason why they can’t make it two wins from two. Hazard should come back into the side and if Arsenal defend like they did last weekend, it’s difficult to see Chelsea not finding a way through. We think that he will prove the difference as Chelsea earn a narrow win. The Chelsea win is priced competitively at Coral.