- Two clubs in recent decline: but why?
- Arsenal v Chelsea: the behaviour of the referee
- Arsenal v Chelsea. Chelsea tackle more, foul more, get more yellows
- Arsenal v Chelsea; home v away; does spending big work? Have a guess.
By Bulldog Drummond
The injury news ahead of the game has no surprises. William Saliba is unlikely to return and our other long term injuries are of course still out. Meanwhile at Chelsea Frank Lampard is out to win the worst manager of the year competition with five defeats out of five.
For Arsenal after three draws and a defeat, it is time for the dip in form to be over and for there to be a return to winning ways. For all clubs that are doing well, and then get a few bad results, there ultimately is an end, and this looks like being it for Arsenal.
We don’t know how much that heavy defeat to Manchester City, in what was billed as a title decider, will hurt them but I guess we are about to find out.
Meanwhile the media is finding excuses for Chelsea: here’s one from the BBC – “Chelsea have been so bad that in some ways the pressure is off.”
And Arteta will take confidence from this dip which he experienced with Arsenal as he was busy turning the club around in 2020. Two draws and five defeats before Chelsea came along on Boxing Day and were thumped 3-1.
|8 Nov 2020
|Arsenal v Aston Villa
|22 Nov 2020
|Leeds United v Arsenal
|29 Nov 2020
|Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers
|6 Dec 2020
|Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
|13 Dec 2020
|Arsenal v Burnley
|16 Dec 2020
|Arsenal v Southampton
|19 Dec 2020
|Everton v Arsenal
|26 Dec 2020
|Arsenal v Chelsea
Now what was particularly interesting on that day was the comparative league position of each team before the game… Here’s the extract from the table for Christmas Day 2020.
The seven defeats leading up to that game puts the current difficulty of three draws and one defeat in the shade. But Arsenal have won nine of the 11 London derbies they have played this season and drawn the other two, so a defeat seems very unlikely.
And here’s a thought. If Gabriel Martinelli scores one more goal tonight, that will give him 16 Premier League goals in 2022-23, the most ever for a Brazilian player in the Premier League. Not bad for a 21-year-old rejected repeatedly by Manchester United.
We need also to look for any sign of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t been seen at Chelsea since 6 November.
As for the team, 90 min give us
White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard;
Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
The Standard don’t deign to give us a team but do say “Leandro Trossard could come back into the team.”
And indeed SportsMole agree with this line up
White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Saka, Odegaard, Trossard;
And here’s something rather freaky – possibly put up just to see if we are paying attention
Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Team News, Predicted Line-Ups, Live …
5 hours ago — The German has been struggling with an ankle injury, so if he doesn’t make it to face Chelsea we can expect either Calum Chambers or Gabriel Paulista to …
Yes it is all a tale from five years ago. How very odd.
Football London however offer
White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
Jorginho, Trossard, Odegaard;
Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
And that is about all the variations we can get before it all kicks off.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins
- Newcastle United’s weakness revealed and what they could do. Arsenal v Newcastle United.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the tackles, fouls and yellow cards compared