By Bulldog Drummond
If we look back across the last three seasons we can see that Chelsea has been a tough, but not impossible opponent for us…
|02 Aug 2015||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||1-0||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|
|04 Feb 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|27 May 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|06 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||1-1||Community Shield|
|17 Sep 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||D||2-2||Premier League|
|10 Jan 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||League Cup|
|24 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||League Cup|
|18 Aug 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
We have won five games against them, drawn three and lost four. But here’s a point: our wins have all either been at Wembley or at home. And unless I am currently on my way to the wrong venue, this one is at home.
Plus there is the fact that overall we have come out on top; 76 wins for us, 63 for them.
Meanwhile as a prelude there is an interesting little note in the BBC’s preview of this match which says,
“Arsenal fans, so keen to get rid of Arsene Wenger, may now be realising that he had been shackled by the owner’s frugal spending policy.”
Well, well, who would have thought it? The BBC catching up with Untold at last.
It is difficult to see much of a change happening for Arsenal in this game, despite recent modest results which could mean a straightforward lineup of…
Mustafi Sokratis Koscielny
I would certainly think of starting Lacazette because we are absolutely going to have to score a couple of goals against this Chelsea side, and having both Aubameyang and Lacazette on the pitch from the start could slow Chelsea’s attacking intentions down as they will have to stay with their solid defence which has only let in eight goals this season!
That leaves Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Guendouzi on the beach as three players particularly likely to come on.
If Monreal is fit, as it seems he is, he could be considered – and if not should at least be on the beach. I would also have Elneny on the bench because he can play in defensive midfield or the back line. The remaining two places could be taken by youngsters who are less likely to come on.
And we have lost four of the last eight games across the competitions. But just as the 22 run had to come to an end so does our eight match poor run have to end sometime, and today would be a good day to do that.
Plus here are a few more thoughts…
We are unbeaten in our last 10 Premier League home games. Eight of those have been won and two have been draws. In fact the loss this season was the opening game against Manchester City at the very start of the campaign. Since then we have made Arsenal Stadium something of a fortress although all the comments in the Guardian and elsewhere tend to suggest it is a failing edifice, crumbling from bottom to top.
And we are also unbeaten in the last 12 Premier League London derbies at home, winning the last five. The last home derby defeat was against Chelsea in January 2016.
On the downside, we just can’t stop other teams scoring against us. Only three times have we managed this – and only Fulham has a worse record than us. It really does need to be sorted. Leno does look like a good keeper but he has only managed to keep one clean sheet in his 15 starts in the League.
But let us end with a good one. Aubameyang has been involved in 20 goals in his 18 Premier League home games for Arsenal. He has scored 15 and assisted in five.
So a win is possible: 2-1 looking like a possible score. We can but give our endless support.
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