Two new managers go head-to-head in their first London derby on Saturday evening when Chelsea host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery had vastly differing results in their first weekend though, as Sarri’s Chelsea beat Huddersfield 3-0, while Emery’s Arsenal lost at home to Manchester City 2-0.
It was the perfect start for Chelsea, who easily beat Huddersfield, with goals coming from N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro, while Eden Hazard came off the bench after his heroics with Belgium in Russia earlier this summer. It was a far cry from their Community Shield game against Manchester City, where they were torn apart, but it was an encouraging start to life for Sarri in the Premier League.
As for Arsenal, it was a case of new manager, but same old result as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at home to champions Manchester City. It’s still early days for them under Unai Emery though and the fixture list has been particularly unkind to them, with the fact that they face both Manchester City and Chelsea in the opening weeks of the season. They’re a work in progress as last weekend’s game showed.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal Predictions
It’s hard to look past Chelsea in this game. They look ahead of Arsenal in terms of their progress under their new manager, while they also boast home advantage. The one problem they might face is dealing with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pace, which could trouble their defenders. Kepa Arrizabalaga could also be tested, having not had much to do last weekend. Still, I’d expect Chelsea to win this game, especially as Eden Hazard is likely to start.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal Betting Tips
- Chelsea to win 2-1: 8/1
- Arsenal double chance: Evens
- Over 3.5 goals: 7/4
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score first: 9/2
Head to Head
- Chelsea have won five of their last six home Premier League matches against Arsenal, with the exception being a 0-0 draw last season.
- Arsenal and Chelsea have met 52 times in the competition. Arsenal have had a 54%-win rate in the first 26 meetings (W14 D9 L3), while Chelsea have won 54% of the last 26 (W14 D7 L5).
- After losing against Manchester City on the opening weekend, Arsenal are looking to avoid starting a season with two defeats for the first time since 1992/93.
- Olivier Giroud scored in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017. If he scores for Chelsea, he will become only the second player after Cesc Fabregas to do so in this Premier League fixture for both sides.
- When playing at home, Chelsea have not lost to Arsenal in their last 7 encounters.
- During the last 28 meetings with Chelsea playing at home, Chelsea have won 11 times. There have been nine draws while Arsenal have won eight times. The goal difference is 41-33 in favour of Chelsea.
- Arsenal’s last away win against Chelsea was in 2011.
Chelsea Team News
Eden Hazard could make a first start of the season after coming off the bench in Chelsea’s opening day victory over Huddersfield. It’s unclear as to who he’ll replace, with Willian, Pedro and Alvaro Morata all in danger of being dropped to the bench.
Possible Chelsea XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Willian, Pedro, Eden Hazard
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal are facing an injury crisis at left back, with Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac both injured. Ainsley Maitland-Niles started there last week, but limped off in the first half. Stephan Lichtsteiner could replace him. There’s also a decision to be made over the goalkeepers, with Petr Cech preferred to Bernd Leno last weekend.
Possible Arsenal XI: Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang