Monday, September 25, 2017

Prediction: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Verdict: Chelsea to win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

Arsenal will want to make it three out of three against Chelsea as they prepare for a short trip to Stamford Bridge this Sunday. Having pipped the Premier League champions to FA Cup trophy and Community Shield earlier this year, Gunners have every right to believe in success.

Chelsea

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea have endured a tough start to the new 2017/18 season. Coming off from back-to-back defeats to Bayern Munich and Inter Milan at the end of preseason, respectively, Antonio Conte’s men officially opened the new campaign with successive disappointments.

The Blues lost the Community Shield to Arsenal and were given a big slap in the face by Burnley at the very beginning of the Premier League. The 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge served as a wakeup call for Antonio Conte’s men who bounced back impressively to notch four consecutive wins. Three Premier League triumphs and a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Qarabag at the beginning of the Champions League campaign are enough to give Blues plenty of reason to feel optimistic. Conte will be keen to exact vengeance on Wenger and his men and there is no doubt that we will be witnessing a much different Chelsea than the one we saw just over a month ago in the Community Shield. The hosts will be hoping Spanish striker Alvaro Morata will continue his impressive form which saw him score six goals in as many matches for club and country. Conte decided to rest him during the week but former Real Madrid is definitely expected back for the big Arsenal clash.

Team News

Michy Batshuayi will make way for Alvaro Morata after deputizing for the Spaniard in the Champions League.

David Luiz is also expected back in the starting line-up while Danny Drinkwater will be the only unavailable player on Sunday through his calf injury.

Arsenal

The Gunners supporters are once again enjoying a rollercoaster ride which takes them to unbelievable lows and unimaginable highs.  The FA Cup and Community Shield winners gave their fans a ride for their money with a 4-3 Premier League opener against Leicester City but slumped to successive away defeats – at Stoke 1-0 and that gut-wrenching 4-0 blow at Liverpool.

In a remarkable fashion, so typical for Arsene Wenger’s side, Arsenal got back to winning ways with comprehensive victories over Bournemouth (3-0) and against FC Koln (3-1) in a delayed Europa League opener. The match against the Bundesliga side was delayed for an entire hour as overcrowding inside and around the Emirates Stadium brought a greatly dangerous environment with an estimated 20,000 visiting fans hurling towards the Emirates. With more people than allocated tickets, the FC Koln fans even infiltrated the home supporters bringing unrest and violent scenes inside and outside the Arsenal ground. It all ended in five arrests and the match being played to avoid more drama and problems. As for the game itself, Arsenal did great to come back from a one-goal deficit and earn an important 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Kolasinac, Sanchez and Bellerin.

Team News

Ospina, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Giroud and Walcott are all expected to be dropped to the bench after being rewarded with a starting berth against FC Koln.

In the meantime, Wenger will not be able to count on long-term absentee Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, whereas Calum Chambers is a major doubt for the game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea have won 4 games on the trot
  • Blues conceded only 2 goals and scored 12 during that period
  • Last 5 matches between these two sides produced over 2.5 goals
  • Arsenal failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 matches across all competitions
  • Gunners are yet to win – or better yet avoid defeat – on the road this season

Conclusion

With both teams coming off from morale-boosting European triumphs we expect to see an openly-contested match at Stamford Bridge. Premier League’s great rivals will be fighting for much more than just three points as a win over fellow contenders brings a great morale boost as well.

Verdict: Chelsea to win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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