Most people aren’t expecting either of these teams to challenge for the Premier League title this season and it feels like a long time since Arsenal were in the mix, with the team seemingly regressing under Arsene Wenger before the board acted decisively and relieved the Frenchman of his long-standing duties.
The Gunners now go into battle under the tutelage of Unai Emery who was left with a few positives despite a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester City, with the Frenchman now contemplating the challenge of visiting Stamford Bridge while secretly cursing the fixture compilers for handing out this sort of start.
Emery will take time to implement a different playing style at the Emirates, with the former PSG coach looking for Arsenal to play out from the back despite risking ceding possession in dangerous areas although there were positives from Matteo Guendouzi who looks like the future of the club at the tender age of nineteen.
Lacazette Won’t Start (Presumably)
Emery was unprepared to play Alexandre Lacazette against a vibrant Manchester City team and it’s unlikely the Frenchman will start this one either, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looking to bag his first goal in Arsenal colours this season.
The latter’s strike rate last term was ten in thirteen following his January arrival, with Aubameyang, third favourite in the odds to score anytime here, renowned for being one of the Bundesliga’s top scorers when wearing a Borussia Dortmund shirt although he might struggle to get any change out of a Chelsea back four who are now screened by Jorginho this season.
It’s strange to think Maurizio Sarri has installed anyone other than N’Golo Kante in this defensive midfield position, although rather than ousting the Frenchman, his manager has instead opted to push the World Cup winner further forward and this reaped dividends with a goal against Huddersfield.
The big issue for Chelsea is the position of striker, although Dries Mertens’ success in an advanced role for Napoli last season hints at the fact that Eden Hazard could blossom as a forward player and secure a number of goals for the London side.
Back a Hazard Goal
Hazard, who’s 7/2 to score at Karamba, has always played under defensively-minded managers at Stamford Bridge and will be delighted that Sarri is potentially about to build an attack around the Belgian, with the playmaker having scored an outstanding goal in this fixture last season.
There is no love lost between these two London teams, although the presence of new managers in the dugout probably takes the sting out of the encounter to some extent, with Chelsea looking like a decent shout at around the even money mark to get the job done.
Sarri has opted to play four at the back and that includes bringing David Luiz in from the cold, something that’s hardly a surprise considering that the Brazilian was rated at Paris Saint-Germain before falling out with Antonio Conte.
Arsenal will not want to be pointless after their first two matches although an attacking approach to the game could backfire considering Chelsea’s ability to move the ball quickly and the supporters will be excited at the prospect of what lies ahead, with a 3-0 win at Huddersfield coming in a fairly straightforward fashion.
In addition to the promise of Hazard, we might also see Pedro and Willian shine at the Bridge this term. The latter admitted that he was considering a swift departure under Conte but his future looks a great deal brighter now.