Prediction: Chelsea to Win
Chelsea will be aiming to react to their shock loss to Newcastle last time out as they face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
The Blues dominated the game at St James’ Park but fell to a late defeat. Meanwhile, the Gunners will be hoping to get another win under new boss Mikel Arteta.
Despite having rediscovered their form in recent weeks under Frank Lampard, the Blues’ fight for a place in the Premier League top four took a considerable blow at the weekend, with Isaac Hayden’s late header condemning them to their first league defeat of 2020. However, due to Manchester United losing against Liverpool, that means the gap to fifth remains at five points. One of the Londoners’ main problems this season has been their defence. Only Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have conceded more than the Blues’ 30 so far throughout the campaign in the top half of the table. If they do harbour aspirations of returning to the UEFA Champions League, that is surely something that they will have to improve. They also do not have the best record at Stamford Bridge this season. In just 11 matches on home soil in the Premier League, they have already lost four. Chelsea have not lost more than that at home in a single season since their terrible title defence of 2015/16.
Defenders Marcos Alonso and Reece James were previously doubtful through injury but could potentially return to action against Arsenal. Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic remain restricted to the sidelines.
Having now overseen six matches as Gunners’ boss since taking the reins from Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta has had an impact at the Emirates Stadium regardless of results not necessarily reflecting that. In the Spaniard’s tenure so far, the team have managed to secure a solitary Premier League victory but that was an impressive one as they dismissed of Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. However, they weren’t quite able to follow that up as they earned frustrating 1-1 draws against Crystal Palace and then Sheffield United to leave them tenth in the table and a huge ten points off of the top four. Having said that, a victory against Chelsea could be crucial in them earning European football in the 2020/21 season, an aspect that could potentially be key in them retaining their star players.
The Gunners head into the match with considerable injury problems, especially in defence. Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac are all ruled out, whilst centre-back Sokratis will be subjected to a late fitness test. At the other end of the pitch, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not take part due to the suspension he picked up for the red card against Crystal Palace, whilst Reiss Nelson will be missing until at least mid February.
Key Facts To Consider
- Arsenal have the better head to head record between the two sides (W65, D57, L77)
- Chelsea won the last clash between the two sides 2-1 in December
- Arsenal have not won at Stamford Bridge since October 2011
- Mikel Arteta only ever won once at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League as a player
- The Blues were actually the team to condemn Arteta to his first defeat as Gunners’ boss
It goes without saying that Chelsea will be striving for an immediate reaction following their late defeat and despite their poor form at Stamford Bridge, they should earn that. The Blues have the better squad and with the Gunners being without Aubameyang, the Blues have even less to worry about. It should be a straight-forward victory for Frank Lampard’s troops.
Prediction: Chelsea to Win
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