Buoyed by the impressive 4-0 triumph over Maccabi Tel Aviv, Chelsea will attempt to get their Premier League title bid back on track with a triumph over local rivals Arsenal. Meanwhile, the Gunners have raised their league form, but the disappointing loss to Dinamo Zagreb is bound to create problems ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
The confidence in the Chelsea camp was probably at the lowest point since Jose Mourinho returned for the second spell following the shocking start to the new Premiership campaign and the Blues desperately needed a morale-boosting win to ease the pressure that was slowly becoming unbearable. Things did not look too promising for the Stamford Bridge outfit in the opening Champions League match against Maccabi Tel Aviv as Eden Hazard blasted an early penalty high over the crossbar, but things soon fell into place and the Blues went on to record a 4-0 triumph. One convincing victory was just what the team needed at this difficult moment and chances are that Chelsea will soon be back to their best. And while some players are still struggling to rediscover last season form, others are slowly clicking into gear, with Jose Mourinho probably delighted to see the likes of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Oscar all get on the scoresheet. There were some bad news for the manager as Willian and Pedro Rodriguez picked up injuries that are likely to prevent them from facing Arsenal, but that is not going to be such a major issue, especially given that Radamel Falcao should be back in contention.
Arsenal have done somewhat better than their local rivals in the opening exchanges, but the Gunners are still searching for form and have not been very consistent of late. As much as Arsene Wenger would like to point out that Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have what it takes to lead the front line, the lack of a proven goalscorer is proving to be a major issue, especially now when Alexis Sanchez is not in the best shape having missed the large chunk of pre-season training. On the other hand, the back line has looked even better than expected at times, but conceding two goals to a team that had never recorded a Champions League win prior to Wednesday’s game would suggest otherwise, even if we have to beat in mind that Olivier Giroud was sent off before the half-time break. The defeat in Zagreb definitely came at a bad time as the Gunners had just recorded several good results in a row and it’s now back to the drawing board for Arsene Wenger. The Professor will have several first team regulars back to the side after they were rested in midweek, but the likes of Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck continue to miss out, whereas Per Mertesacker is doubtful.
Chelsea may have been pretty disappointing of late, but chances are they only needed one comfortable win to return to the right track and we do expect this match to show it. Meanwhile, Arsenal have too many problems to count and we cannot see them getting anything from Stamford Bridge.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 14/10
Bookmaker: William Hill
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