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Chelsea vs Arsenal: First XI’s Analysed – Who’s Better?

In England, there are teams that stand out from the crowd for more reasons than one. London will be divided yet again as Chelsea and Arsenal battle for bragging rights in a contest where the winner always emerges as the ‘Pride of London’ for that day at least.

The last time these teams met Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott contributed immensely as Arsenal recorded an overdue win for Arsenal over their West London neighbors because Chelsea had been the top dog in recent meetings between the sides.

Chelsea hosts Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League’s lunch-time fixture and I’ll like to give an analysis of each player in different positions on the pitch to see how the fixture can be predicted from the eyes of an Arsenal blogger. I intend to be unbiased in my analysis though.

My analysis will be done on the potential first team for tomorrow’s clash.

GOALIES: Petr Cech vs. Wojciech Szczesny

The records and experience speak for itself. Petr Cech is regarded as one of the best goalies in the business and he has proven himself over the years. A potentially serious head injury almost thwarted its career but it certainly played a small role because the Cech with a Rugby helmet after the injury isn’t nearly as good as the Cech that conceded only six goals in Stamford Bridge and nine goals away all season long to create a Premier League record for the best defense.

Wojciech Szczesny on the other hand is a young goalie that rising higher with each passing day and will certainly get to Petr Cech’s level in the foreseeable future. He has great reflexes and his command of his area is very impressive and his best years are certainly ahead of him.

Winner: Petr Cech

RIGHT BACKS: Branislav Ivanovic vs. Johan Djourou

Both teams go into the match without their regular right backs that have missed out due to suspension (Jose Bosingwa) and injury (Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson) so both managers will have to make do with their deputies. Branislav Ivanovic is a very strong centre back that’s also adept as a right back and he certainly uses his attributes as a centre back to great effect on the right flank. His strength and stamina are powerful tools he uses against opposition wingers and he’s also a threat from corners and free kicks because of his aerial prowess.

Like Ivanovic, Johan Djourou is also a centre back that has been redeployed as a right back to help the club in an injury crisis currently suffered by the recognized personnel in the right back position. Bacary Sagna fractured his leg while Carl Jenkinson has knee troubles so Djourou will have his work cut out in Stamford Bridge as he continues to play in such an unfamiliar position.

Winner: Branislav Ivanovic

LEFT BACKS: Ashley Cole vs. Andre Santos

Cashley Cuntly Cole was a player with 100% Arsenal DNA and he marauded the left hand side with Robert Pires when Arsene Wenger coached his second generation of Arsenal stars. Pace, resilience, determination, work rate as well as bone-crunching tackles were attributes that are possessed by Ashley Cole and it was used to great effect by Arsenal.

Arsenal bought Andre Santos as a replacement for the departed Gael Clichy and he has even got his name of the score sheet when Arsenal hosted Olympiakos in the Champions League group stages. Even though Kieran Gibbs has selected above the Brazilian in recent weeks, injury has paved the way for the Samba boy to strut his stuff.

Winner: Ashley Cole

CENTER BACKS: John Terry vs. Laurent Koscielny

One can faults John Terry’s ability off the pitch; girlfriend shagging, racist abusing, you name it but on the field of play, John Terry is a general that put his body in the line for the entire 90 minutes for his side. His dedication to the cause almost cost him a lot when Arsenal played Chelsea in the Carling Cup final of 2007. Not many players would have fared better with a Shaolin Kick from Abou Diaby but the English captain was still fit enough to celebrate with his teammates when they edged their North London neighbors out with a 2-1 win thanks to Didier Drogba.

Laurent Koscielny arrived in the Premier League last season and he played close to 4000 minutes of football in his first season as he featured in all competitions but Laurent has really improved on his game and has become a threat in the air when defending high balls over the top. Koscielny will give Per Mertesacker a run for his money when Thomas Vermaelen becomes fully fit.

Winner: John Terry

CENTER BACKS: David Luiz vs. Per Mertesacker

The £21m man hasn’t spent up to a year in England but I’m pretty sure that the Chelsea faithful already have a theme song for the bloke whose hair reminds me of Ivan Campo and Carles Puyol. He’s a strong individual that has an attacking prowess likened to the great Lucio and he has done well to make the second center back slot his own.

Per Mertesacker is an experienced individual that has been there and done that in international football. With a height ranging up to two meters tall, Mertesacker is a very intelligent center back that reads the game like a novel before taking action to a move he always comes out on top.

Winner: Per Mertesacker

HOLDING MIDFIELDERS: John Obi Mikel vs. Alex Song

In the World Youth Championships of 2005, there was only one player that was better than John Mikel Obi in that tournament and that player has gone on to take the world by storm with his breathtaking goals, assists, dribbles and overall play. Mikel on the other hand was heralded as Nigeria’s Number. 10 after the retirement of the legendary jay Jay Okocha but the attacking midfielder was converted to a holding midfielder and has excelled in that role to the Nigerian national team’s detriment.

Alex Song is a gem that was carefully nurtured by Arsene Wenger and he has turned out to be a holding midfielder that can command a first team place in any team in the world. His close control and skills has certainly caught the eye but he needs to work on his passing though.

WINNER: Alex Song

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS: Raul Meireles vs. Mikel Arteta

This Portuguese chap certainly takes his fashion seriously in his own personal way and his hands, body, back and even his neck have gone under the ink to have drawing that are probably permanent but his footballing abilities can’t be questioned. He may not be the best passer of the ball but he has a very high work rate and he’s a major threat from outside the area because he has a very sweet right foot that is technically blessed.

Arsenal’s new signing has vast of experience in the Premier League and forged his way into Evertonian hearts with his cultured style of play that ranges from passes, shots as well as his ability with a dead ball. He has been a major hit at Arsenal and has also played in every game since his arrival with the exception of the Carling Cup encounters.

WINNER: Mikel Arteta

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Frank Lampard vs. Aaron Ramsey

The old dog has refused to lie down and see younger Chelsea puppies take his place from him. Frank Lampard is one of those players that will certainly be celebrated in all corners of the globe when he decides to hang his boots. His contribution to Chelsea and football at large has been so immense and I’m sure that I’ll miss the Hunchback of StamfordDame, England’s own Quasimodo.

He’s certainly one of the younger ‘puppies’ at the Emirates but this ‘dawg’ already has vast levels of experience because he started playing at the highest level at a very young age. Injury almost halted his career last year but Aaron Ramsey worked tirelessly to gain full fitness and he has grown in his new ‘Fabregas-esque’ role at the club. His pass to Gervinho last week was a stuff made in dreams.

WINNER: Frank Lampard

LEFT WINGERS: Juan Manuel Mata vs. Gervinho

The little winger from Oviedo decided to take a big step in his career and he hasn’t been half bad in the start to his Chelsea career. He has also done well to hand on some assists and score some goals himself

The ‘foreheaded’ one has been an inspiration for Arsenal and he has picked up where he left off in his LOSC Lille Metropole days. Gervinho is a bag that has bags of tricks and he came into the party to hand on two assists for Robin van Persie when Arsenal hosted Stoke. Certainly Arsenal’s signing of the season in my books.

WINNER: Gervinho

RIGHT WINGERS: Nicolas Anelka vs. Theo Walcott

These players have contrasting styles of plays and I’m pretty sure that most of my readers might not agree with my final outcome. Nicolas Anelka is a striker-turned winger that has a canny style of play and can pop up with the goods when they are needed while Theo Walcott is an explosive forward that has improved in his contribution on the pitch to Arsenal.  Goals, assists as well as good tentative play.

WINNER: Theo Walcott

STRIKER: Fernando Torres vs. Robin van Persie

There was actually a point in time when these two strikers were incomparable but Fernaando Torres was still wearing a jersey that had the same colors with Robin van Persie’s jersey but after making the British transfer record to London and changed his jersey from Red to Blue, his career suddenly found the Blues but he’s picking his feet slowly and could be a real threat tomorrow.

Robin van Persie. Six goals in Arsenal’s last nine games, 25 goals n his last 26 Premier League games and 30 goals in 36 games in 2011. Enough written; for once, the records ‘speaks’ for themselves.

WINNER: Robin van Persie

After juxtaposing of the potential first team of both sides, Arsenal had six points while Chelsea had five. With the Chelsea backline winning with a victory that seemed flawless and Arsenal’s attack knocking Chelsea’s out with a technical knockout, a draw might just be the settler for such a tie but tomorrow will tell.

Remember that I made this analysis with my own judgment but I tried my best to give reasons to justify my final outcome. Feel free to prove me wrong with your comments.



  1. james

    October 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    gervinho better than matter?! are you having a bubble he isnt even a solo man kalou!

    • Adam Ablitt

      October 29, 2011 at 3:16 am

      he clearly is better than kalou thats y he gets ahead of him for ivory coast

  2. steve

    October 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    spot on! great analysis, I only see a draw here but you never know…. go gunners!

  3. Malignant TB

    October 29, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Do ur research well. Djourou may not play at the left back after all. And Bosingwa has served his suspension therefore will play. Koscielny may play the right back role, with Per n Verm partnering at the centre back. Mata is currently better than Gervinho though. Tough game but a win for gunners will do it for me

    • Malignant TB

      October 29, 2011 at 12:05 am

      I meant Djourou might not play on the right back

      • Runar

        October 29, 2011 at 1:06 am

        and Sturridge would play instead of Anelka, and Sturridge is wayyyyyy better than Theo

    • Taps

      October 29, 2011 at 1:07 am

      U a lying Bosingwa got a straight red which means he is serving 3 games

      • hi

        October 29, 2011 at 5:36 am

        a straight red doesnt neccesarily mean 3 games…its only 3 games for violent play but professional foul its only one game and forsure sturridge would start ahead of anelka and ramires will be in for mikel and dnt tell me song is better than ramires

        • aku

          October 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

          song is one of the best holding midfielder in the world…of coz he is better than ramires…

    • Daniel Apochi

      October 29, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Its true that Juan mata is far better than Gervinho. both are new in the EPL.

  4. Pete

    October 29, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I can’t agree with some of your match-ups.

    Gervinho v Mata: Gervinho could have a big influence, as he did in his last game but Mata definitely will have an influence. Mata wins this one, for me.

    Walcott v Anelka: Same again here, Theo, given the space and ball can be devastating but Chelsea are too cute to allow that. Anelka is always productive and will either make a chance or two for himself or for others. Anelka wins this one.

    Arteta v Meireles: No contest this one. The Arteta of 3 years ago I would agree but, so far, he has been no better than Denilson, in as much as he just maintains possession with short, sideways passes. He doesn’t play the killer ball and he doesn’t look to get in on goal. Meireles is always looking to take a shot or a forward pass or to break into the box. Meireles win.

    I would play Arshavin in the central roll as he always looks for the killer ball. Yes it goes wrong sometimes, often in fact but he is more attack minded than Arteta. I hope Mikel is still just finding his feet but I fear a spent force who won’t get a look in when Jack is back.
    I don’t think there is a massive difference between the 2 teams but Chelsea do still edge it and being at home, I think they will come out on top.

  5. pdox11

    October 29, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Your written English is awful.
    Arsenal will win, they are fresh. Chavski are tired. Simples.

  6. hangtime

    October 29, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Gervinho over Mata? Gervinho is doing good and is very dangerous but Mata is just as good.
    I believe Bosingwa served his suspension during the Carlina cup and is back to play against Arsenal. Bosingwa over Djourou and Ivanovic over Mertesacker.
    Sturridge vs Walcott. Sturridge have already scored like 3-4 goals. Can score again against Arsenal.

    To me, Arsenal’s most dangerous players are Van Persie, Gervinho, and Walcot. But they are facing Chelsea’s strong defense (yeah they gave sloppy goal in the passed few games).
    Will Arsenal’s defense hold Mata, Torres, Sturridge/Anelka. Lampard can also score. Another thing, Ramires should be playing/starting tomorrow.


    October 29, 2011 at 4:57 am


    • Lekan

      October 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

      ‘No foreign player has ever done that in the Premier League’- while i cannot dispute that, but RVP and Torres in their current for? Its thumbs up for RVP!!

    • philippe

      October 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      opps,,,sorry.youre pretty wrong…its HAT TRICK for RVP…

  8. DROGBA#11

    October 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

    lol Gervinho better then Mata? Who r you kidding?

  9. Halesh

    October 29, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Take it or leave it RVP is better than TORRES.

  10. hi

    October 29, 2011 at 5:39 am

    RVP is only beta than on form torres’s shadow and gervinho better than mata??? LMAO thnx for not being biased

  11. Lotenna

    October 29, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Based on current form RVP may get the nod but when Torres is in form he is just the best

  12. Mzito Bett Fredrick

    October 29, 2011 at 6:00 am

    The game is tight but time will tell

  13. Daniel

    October 29, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Rvp is better than torres rvp is always on form n tores perfomance is up n down n how can u call ya self top stricker

  14. Daniel

    October 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Is arsenal 4 life lets gun this fools down

  15. Tyler

    October 29, 2011 at 6:22 am

    RVP>>>Fernandon’t Scorres

    • Bob

      October 29, 2011 at 6:57 am

      Even though he has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games? You’re a moron. Sturridge is better than Theo. Gervinho isn’t in the same league as mata. Arteta isn’t playing like he did at everton. And Torres has found his form. Arsenal don’t really stand a chance…

  16. Atanda ola

    October 29, 2011 at 6:51 am

    May the favour from God pull on Arsenal match will tell, if we are back or not.

  17. mr victor

    October 29, 2011 at 6:55 am

    i reason wit u, but the comparison between walcott and anelka is unbelieveable.

  18. Thabani

    October 29, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Torres used to b good bt nw he’s a js spent force…..RvP is the best striker currently in the Premiership so i bet him banging them goals today again

  19. Jon

    October 29, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Nice article but faulty in some area:
    1. Bosingwa ll play
    2. Luiz is far better than Mertesacker
    3. Mikel is the best holding Midfielder in EPL – try to find out how many goals chelsea have conceded in open play when Mikel is on d pitch
    4. Ramires is NOT a defensive midfielder neither is Meireles.
    5. The only Arsenal Player that ‘ll selected if one should choose a start XI from the pool of Asenal/Chelsea players is Van Persie.
    Note: Torres is the Best striker in EPl when everyone is in form. Form has let him down but his class is above the rest. Nice day to you all

  20. Jon

    October 29, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Correction on no. 5:
    (be) selcted, start(ing)

  21. Jon

    October 29, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Corrections on no. 5:
    (be) selected, start(ing)

  22. Modey

    October 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Arsenal fans keep on dreaming. And gerivinho cannot even tie mata booths. Sturidge wil get the run ahead of anelka and he is a million times beta dan walcott and u say Arteta is beta dan mereiles U are dreaming ‘man’

  23. Yunusa

    October 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

    We re talking of present form here and not football record believe it or not Rvp is presently far better than Torres gunners 4 life victory is all ours

  24. Nacoblinks

    October 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Blues go and get 3 points end of story.

  25. Adekunle

    October 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

    As a Chelsea fan,on current form RVP is better than improving Torres but,Chelsea will win today.Bosingwa,Lampard,Sturridge,Torres,and Ramires are all back for the Blues so,Arsenal should note that. Up Chelsea!

  26. Davi

    October 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I don’t even agree that cech is better than szczesny. Cech has been inconsistent for a long time. They’re probably quite close in ability but I’d much rather have szczesny because he is constantly improving.
    The chelsea fullbacks are better but both arsenal’s centre backs are better.
    Song is marginally better than mikel, who is a quality player himself, and lampard is certainly more consistent and reliable than ramsey, but I’d also say that meireles (and ramires actually) is better than arteta. That said, I do think they play different roles for their sides currently.
    Mata is better than gervinho (although gerv is still very dangerous), and sturridge and anelka are both better than walcott. RVP IS better than torres now, though. You’d have to be unbelievably biased to think that torres is actually more scary to arsenal than RVP is to chelsea based on recent form. If we were comparing today’s RVP to the torres of 2 or 3 years ago, ok, I could accept that torres would be marginally more dangerous, but on recent form, there’s no comparison. RVP is miles ahead of torres at the moment.

  27. me

    October 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

    chelsea does not have proper forwards, never had; that’s why they have never one CL for example!!

    sample great forwards to compare to: tevez, aguero, romario, van persie, berkhamp, t henry, eto’o, van Basten, d villa;

    compare Kalou, anelka, sturridge, drogba (every time chelsea knocked out of CL drogba can be seen complaining or getting red instead of scoring); what a joke!! wake up chelsea (torres in essence was a good try but has not worked so far)!!

    hopefully torres is back!!

    • Davi

      October 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Drogba was one of the best forwards since the PL started. Silly red card in the final against Utd, but was pretty justified in his complaints when Barca knocked chelsea out.
      I agree that over the years chelsea’s biggest weakness has been in attack, but drogba has largely carried that attack to titles. The last time they won the league some of other players really hit form, malouda in particular, and they combined with drogba to form one of the most exciting attacking sides (again) since the PL started. This is from an arsenal fan btw.

      • me

        October 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm

        no, i am a chelsea fan, but being realistic!
        drogba could never play with another striker, remember crespo? because of his emotional head, i think he never put in more than 75% of what he could have;
        drogba being there killed chelsea’s game, just balls forwards to drogba, crosses to drogba! not to mentin the stupid decision to bring over lukaku because he resembles drogba;
        drogba only played well 2 seasons, not sure if i can remember well but must have been 3 & 4 years ago??

        i prefer chelsea now to build a team around a strong midfield, like barcelona, and not use dedicated alone strikers anymore; then add defenders; chech also never been there for 3 years at least;

        • me

          October 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

          not to mention his ridiculous free kicks; even when he scores them i feel red faced,
          ‘is this all you can?’; each time i felt he would NOT score another one again .. because next time the wall cannot be stupid again, goalkeeper will be there etc!!

  28. Jharmiu

    October 29, 2011 at 11:39 am

    hope 90min wil settle d fight but chelsea wil ir d colour

  29. ajala adeyemi

    October 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    i believe in team work,i can put anything to bet arsenal will have the day

  30. Pingback: What I learnt from Chelsea v Arsenal « One Foot In The Game

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