Chelsea v Arsenal part 1: the build up and the preview.

By Bulldog Drummond

Chelsea, as we will all remember, were thumped by Arsenal 3-0 at the Ems, and although that was good news for us it was pretty bad news for the rest of football as they then went on a whirlwind of winning.

Date Venue Opposition Score (h-t) Result
24/09/2016 A Arsenal  0:3 (0:3)  L
01/10/2016 A Hull City 2:0 (0:0)
15/10/2016 H Leicester City 3:0 (2:0)
23/10/2016 H Manchester United 4:0 (2:0)
30/10/2016 A Southampton  2:0 (1:0)
05/11/2016 H Everton  5:0 (3:0)
20/11/2016 A Middlesbrough  1:0 (1:0)
26/11/2016 H Tottenham Hotspur 2:1 (1:1)
03/12/2016 A Manchester City 3:1 (0:1)
11/12/2016 H West Bromwich Albion 1:0 (0:0)
14/12/2016 A Sunderland  1:0 (1:0)
17/12/2016 A Crystal Palace 1:0 (1:0)
26/12/2016 H AFC Bournemouth 3:0 (1:0)
31/12/2016 H Stoke City 4:2 (1:0)
04/01/2017 A Tottenham Hotspur 0:2 (0:1)
14/01/2017 A Leicester City 3:0 (1:0)
22/01/2017 H Hull City 2:0 (1:0) W
31/01/2017 A Liverpool 1:1 (1:0) D
22/01/2017 H Hull City 2:0 (1:0)

It doesn’t make promising viewing for other teams, but all runs end sometime, and one way of looking at things is that the Chelsea have only won three of the last five.  Trouble is that at home they look fairly invincible at the moment.

If we just take the home games the table looks like this

    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 11 10 0 1 30 6 +24 30
2 Tottenham 11 9 2 0 25 5 +20 29
3 Burnley 13 9 1 3 21 11 +10 28
4 Arsenal 12 8 2 2 24 13 +11 26

And the away table…

    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 12 8 2 2 18 10 +8 26
2 Man City    12 8 0 4 26 16 +10 24
3 Liverpool 12 6 4 2 23 17 +6 22
4 Arsenal 11 6 3 2 27 12 +15 21

So whichever way we look at it, it should be a Chelsea home win. But then so should the game for us against Watford.

Over the past five games the results have been even – two wins each, two defeats each…

Date Game Result Score Competition
26 Apr 2015 Arsenal v Chelsea D 0-0 Premier League
02 Aug 2015 Arsenal v Chelsea W 1-0 FA Community Shield
19 Sep 2015 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
24 Jan 2016 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-1 Premier League
24 Sep 2016 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-0 Premier League

Chelsea’s success can be put down in particular to their extraordinary run of injuries this season – in fact they hardly seem to have had any.  Indeed at the moment they are showing zero injuries.  We are at least in the bottom section of the injury table, although Elneny is not listed – he is still with Egypt who have made it through to the Final of the Africa Cup.  I don’t have an update on his injury sustained in a previous round.

Here’s the foot of the injury league table…

Pos Club Injured players Latest  Injury
15 Arsenal 2 A Ramsey Calf Strain
16 Manchester City 2 S Aguero Knock
17 West Bromwich Albion 2 B Galloway Knock
18 Leicester City 2 I Slimani Groin Injury
19 Bournemouth 1 C Daniels Knee Injury
20 Chelsea 0    

According to the statistics in WhoScored, Chelsea only have one weakness which is aerial duels.  The other interesting point to pick up from WhoScored on this game is that according to their stats both sides play non-aggressive football, but their opponents play aggressively against them.  That isn’t quite how I’ve seen the games in recent years, and the incidents involving Gabriel being wound up by Diego Costa and sent off for a red that was of course overturned, and Santi Cazorla getting sent off at Stamford Bridge suggest a slightly different interpretation.

It was indeed interesting that while the media wanted Mr Wenger to get a six month stadium ban for the incident recently with an official there have been few calls for referee bans for the Costa incident, nor indeed for the Andre Marriner sending off of Gibbs for stopping a goal with his hand.  Not only did he get the wrong player, and then refused to listen to the players all telling him who the right player was, but also the ball was clearly not headed for the goal, and therefore was not a sending off offence.

On that occasion former world cup ref  Clive Thomas said that the four quasi-officials in charge of that game should be banned for the rest of the season adding on BBC Radio 5, “It’s the most disgusting, shocking decision I’ve seen. In my opinion these four wouldn’t officiate another Premier League game this season.”

But of course this sort of behaviour is what we have to put up with these days.  Players get punished, even when the ref is clearly, utterly wrong, but refs do not.

Moving on, both clubs do have something in common – they go for goals and have top scorers.  Here is the current chart for Arsenal and Chelsea players who have scored six or more goals in the Premier League this season

Player Mins per goal Goals scored Assists Shots on target Total shots
Alexis Sánchez 131 15 8 33 59
Diego Costa 124 15 5 31 49
Eden Hazard 204 9 3 22 38
Theo Walcott 174 8 2 23 42
Olivier Giroud 90 7 3 11 20

So yes, it is possible to find reasons to be cheerful, but I am not sure that is going to stop my nerves!


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8 Replies to “Chelsea v Arsenal part 1: the build up and the preview.”

  1. The key for us is going to be the central midfield pairing. I wouldn’t even attempt to pick who’s likely to play there, but it’s probably our weakest area (with the four missing regulars) against possibly the strongest attacking midfield in the PL.
    Your “past five” results is a bit skewed towards us with the inclusion of the Community Shield (a no account pre season friendly), and four home games. We’ve actually only won twice at the Bridge in the last ten matches, and lost seven.
    Even so I’m expecting us not to lose.

  2. @Leon,
    I go further than you, Leon, about tomorrow’s game.
    I’m convinced Arsenal will win…. and Chelsea know this.
    A pattern is emerging. When Arsenal are guaranteed favourites to win against a mid-table opponent, at home, they will clutch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  3. The big thing I remember from the 3-0 victory was the way that Mustafi and Koscielny moved up and took away space from Costa. He was totally removed from the match and was extremely unhappy.

  4. Can Luiz look at Ozil without remembering Germany 7- Brazil 1 and standing with the ball being played behind him, around him, and into the back of the net?

    Add Welbeck’s physical presence.

  5. We can and must win this match.
    It depends who is playing which team turns up, a team wanting to win putting in real effort, determination and strategy or a team that just makes the cursory effort.

    Of course Chel$ could be better than us on Sat but i think we have a team to beat them even now in their moment.

    Just don’t want a repeat of last season: beat them(Lei) twice and they still win PL.

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