Arsenal v Chelsea: The Mind Series. Build up and the team predictions

By Bulldog Drummond

So we return to the pre-season games after an interruption with the cancellation of the American trip, with the game against Chelsea.

Despite the cancellation of the American meander we have managed to put in a few friendly games

  • 13 July: Hibernian 2-1 Arsenal (Easter Road)
  • 17 July: Rangers 2-2 Arsenal (Ibrox Stadium)
  • 24 July: Arsenal 4-1 Millwall (London Colney)
  • 28 July: Arsenal 4-1 Watford (London Colney)

I may well have missed something but all I have seen written up for Chelsea are two such games…

  • 17 July: Chelsea 6-1 Peterborough (Cobham Training Centre)
  • 27 July: Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea (Vitality Stadium)

Investment in Chelsea’s squad has been astronomical of late although in the last six years the League has been a bit of a roller coaster for them with a finishing position of 1st, 3rd, 4th (twice), 5th and 10th.  Better than Arsenal of course – 2nd, 3rd, 5th (twice), 6th and 8th (twice) – but we haven’t sunk quite as low as 10th.  Nor have we spent anything like the amount of money.

Since 2016 Chelsea have had four managers: Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.  

Arsenal have also had four: Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta.

Overall we are still comfortably in the lead in terms of games against them, winning 80, losing 65 and drawing 58.  And indeed our recent performances against them have not been at all bad.  For of the last 14 from May 2017 to May 2021 Arsenal have won seven, lost three and drawn four.

Date Game Res Score Competition
27 May 2017 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 FA Cup Final
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
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0 Premier League
29 May 2019 Chelsea v Arsenal L 4-1 Europa League
29 Dec 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-2 Premier League
21 Jan 2020 Chelsea v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
01 Aug 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 FA Cup Final
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 Premier League
12 May 2021 Chelsea v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League

Interestingly those last two victories marked the start and end of our glorious run last season in which through the final two thirds of the season we had the second best performances of any club in the league in terms of points and goals.

This summer Chelsea have let 22 players go, including Olivier Giroud and Fiyako Tomori (£30m to Milan) but have only brought in the keeper Marcus Bettinelli on a free.

Overall they have released five players, two players transferred on a free, seven leaving for an undisclosed sum, six going out on loan, and four leaving for a disclosed fee, suggesting that the Chelsea approach of buying up lots of youngsters and farming them out to their favoured clubs has continued.  But so far this season what is lacking here is what we used to see (and what Chelsea were so heavily criticised for)  – that loaning out of youngsters to favoured clubs around Europe.

We have now spent £17.2m on Lokonga, £6.8m on Tavares and £50 on White.

In terms of injuries we have Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes with a knee injury and that’s all.

Sports Mole have a team of…

Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tierney;
Lokonga, Thomas;
Pepe, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;

The Daily Canon offers something rather similar

Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney;
Partey, Lokonga,
Pepe, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;
and the Sports Lens site goes along with that.

No one else seems to be offering a clear projection of the lineup, and indeed one can’t blame them.  I am sure there will be quite a few changes at half time and on the hour.

The statistical enquiry of 2021


10 Replies to “Arsenal v Chelsea: The Mind Series. Build up and the team predictions”

  1. terrible defending from us leading to Chelsea getting 0-1 in front. We gotta do better in that situation

  2. Defensive errors can be coached away as long as the side is settled. Refereeing is another story.

  3. yes, walter, mariner somehow managed to outmariner himself today …
    the icing on his disgusting cake was the denial of joe’s wonderful goal – but joe’s actually been brilliant each and every time he touched the ball
    as perry groves said, eddie was outstanding too, he seems to have improved every aspect of his game – he’s now become real competition for laca
    i do hope all idea of shipping out our two wonderkids has now been given up, once and for good
    the more “hale end” it is, the brighter our future will be; 2021-2022 joe/eddie will be 2020-2021 bukayo/emil
    … and i’ve not given up on reiss/ainsley yet (don’t think i ever will)

  4. A really enjoyable game with good performances from most of our lads, especially from an attacking point of view. Partey was awesome until going off with what looked like a turned ankle, lets hope it is not serious. The three new recruits played well when they came on in the second half and it was nice to hear Xhaka get a good reception from the crowd when he came on. Our defending needs some work, we were downright sloppy at times and Chelsea found themselves through on goal easily too many times. Most of the chances we conceded were self inflicted. Our playing out from the back was often woeful, Leno several times playing his defenders into trouble with suicide passes when a long clearance would have been a better option. Elneny, Bellerin and others were also guilty of similar poor decision making around our penalty area which resulted in goal attempts for Chelsea most of which they wasted.
    In attack we looked pretty good both in midfield and up front, we were a lot more direct than last season and moved the ball forward quickly and decisively. Not so much sideways passing like last season. Unfortunately we did not have our shooting boots on and consequently did not get the reward in goals that our play deserved.
    Mariner was the ref and gave a typical biased display with several clear fouls on our guys ignored completely. Zoumma should have been booked for a nasty challenge on Tierney but wasn’t. We had three fifty/fifty penalty shouts all turned down but we are used to that, and a dead cert goal not given after a shot by Willock came down off the crossbar and bounced a couple of feet over the goal line. The damned officials cannot help themselves in their persecution of Arsenal even in a friendly.
    All in all a good work out for our boys.

  5. Re Partey’s injury which looked to have been caused by an unpunished tackle from behind by a Chelsea player….
    Quote from Arteta
    “I just had a talk with the doc. He is going to have a scan tomorrow.
    At the moment it is not looking good because he was in pain and he could not continue, which for Thomas is unusual.”

  6. It was a strange match. We gave away far too many outnumbered counters and were lucky that they only scored on one. On the other hand we missed a couple of open headers and had Willock’s goal chalked off because the Assistant Referee was close enough to the line to see what 25 000 fans saw…it was clearly over the line. As for Bellerin’s perfect pass to Abraham…it was perfect.

    We have some work to do but the sky isn’t falling.

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