Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Arsenal entertain London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium tonight with both sides hoping to boost their title chances with a win. Here is a preview.
Arsenal entertain London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium tonight with both sides hoping to boost their title chances with a win.
The Gunners have led the way for much of the season but have slipped to third in the Premier League table after picking up just one point from their last two games and were thumped 6-3 by Manchester City last time out, so the north Londoners will be looking to get back on track this evening.
However, in order to do so Arsene Wenger will have to improve upon his terrible record against Jose Mourinho that’s seen him fail to get the better of the Portuguese coach in nine league meetings.
Mourinho has endured a mixed start to life back at Stamford Bridge since returning in the summer but a win for the Blues tonight would see them leapfrog the hosts and move level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table.
The two sides have already met once this season with Chelsea running out 2-0 winners in their Capital One Cup clash back in October.
Arsenal will have to make do without the services of Jack Wilshere after the midfielder picked up a two-game ban for making a rude gesture towards City fans last week.
Laurent Koscielny is expected to miss out after receiving a nasty cut to his knee at the Etihad Stadium so Thomas Vermaelen will continue alongside Per Mertesacker at the back, while Kieran Gibbs will return at left-back for Nacho Monreal.
Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini will fight it out for the two central midfield positions while Theo Walcott should retain his place after scoring a brace last weekend.
Lukas Podolski is available for the first time since August after recovering from a hamstring tear and the German will take his place among the substitutes.
Chelsea are expected to make several changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Sunderland in the League Cup on Tuesday.
Petr Cech, John Terry, Ramires, Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are all expected to be recalled after being rested in midweek, while Fernando Torres should get the nod over Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba up front.
Mourinho will welcome back Branislav Ivanovic from a one-match ban meaning Cesar Azpilicueta will move to left-back with Ashley Cole dropping out. Gary Cahill could be selected ahead of David Luiz in the middle.
Theo Walcott: The speedster returned to the starting line-up with a bang last week, scoring two during the Gunners defeat to Man City. His pace is sure to cause Chelsea problems and Azpilicueta will have his work cut out in trying to keep the England man quiet.
Betting & Predicted Score
It’s well known that making Premier League betting tips is never easy due to the unpredictability of the league but this game is going to be particularly difficult due to the adverse weather conditions that could play a part in the outcome. Chelsea have had the better of this fixture in recent times but Arsenal have been consistent at home since the opening day of the season and should be considered the favourites tonight.
We can see the Gunners edging this one 2-1, and if you fancy spicing the bet up back Theo Walcott to score at any time. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
What would be your preferred starting eleven and whats your predicted score? Share your views below.