The fixture computer hasn’t been too kind to Chelsea as after losing to Liverpool on Friday night they now make the short journey to The Emirates on Saturday evening to go up against arch rivals Arsenal.
Antonio Conte’s side were outclassed when facing Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s side deservedly came away with all three points. That in turn meant it was the second league game in a row that Chelsea had failed to win and new boss Conte is undergoing his first spell if pressure since taking over at Stamford Bridge.
For Arsenal it all seems to be rosy as of late, unbeaten since the opening weekend and the toxic Emirates atmosphere from that defeat to Liverpool has been long since forgotten. Can they do what they failed to do last season and that is beat Chelsea.
Without doubt the pantomime villain Diego Costa will be in the spotlight. In the two encounters last season he played a hand in getting both Gabriel and Per Mertesacker sent off. When these two sides play it’s never Arsenal vs Chelsea. It’s Arsenal vs Diego Costa
If Arsenal can tame Costa then they will have a chance if breaking their Chelsea hoodoo but if they let Costa get the better of them then it could be the same old story when these two are concerned. The thing is that Costa knows how to bend the rules to their most flexible without breaking them and it’s a trap that Arsenal always seem to fall into.
Both sides tasted EFL Cup success in midweek. The Gunners eased past Nottingham Forest at the City Ground while Chelsea came from behind to beat Leicester 4-2, that win needed extra time so the extra minutes may give Arsenal a slight advantage but there’s arguably been enough recovery time since Tuesday night for it not to have a bearing on today’s result.
Arsene Wenger’s side breezed past Hull last Saturday and it seems as if the Alexis Sanchez striker experiment seems to be working. He scored in their 4-1 win and looks set to be once again trusted with leading the line for Arsenal this evening.
New boy Lucas Perez opened his Arsenal account in midweek and will be pushing for inclusion but will probably have to make do with the bench and that is once again where Oliver Giroud will be starting from. He’s now fully recovered from the Euro 2016 summer campaign but he has quite obviously dropped down the pecking order.
For Chelsea once again John Terry misses out through the heel injury he picked up against Swansea a fortnight ago, while Cesc Fabregas could be in line to make his first league start of the season against his former employers. That should make for a lively situation this evening.
As for who will win this one, I think Chelsea will just edge it especially if Diego Costa can continue his early season form and that’s without considering the fact that he may very well get an Arsenal player sent off before the game ends. Chelsea to edge it with both teams to score, an away win for me.