One of the biggest London derbies of the season takes place on Saturday night, as Chelsea visit the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. Chelsea have the edge in the table, leading Arsenal by a decent six points, but a loss on Saturday could see that lead all but disappear. They will need a win if they intend to stay in contention and mount a late push for the title.
Arsenal will be looking for a victory to secure their route to the Champion’s League via domestic competition. However, events off the pitch threaten to overshadow the weekend’s action, with the loss of their head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat. The timing couldn’t be worse, with Petr Cech retiring at the end of the season, uncertainty over Danny Welbeck continuing with the club and whatever is going on with Mesut Ozil. Chelsea, meanwhile are attempting to move forward with their signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Inter Milan. They have also apparently signed Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes, but with two strikers, Morata and Giroud looking elsewhere, Maurizio Sarri still has work to do before the transfer window closes.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea Predictions
Neither team will want to lose, but maybe Chelsea could live with a draw if Manchester United’s extraordinary resurgence can be halted. In that event, the gap between fourth and sixth would close a bit, but Chelsea would remain ahead. A loss for Arsenal would put paid to both their title and Champions League ambitions. Expect a tight, nervy game, one that we see ending in a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea Betting Tips
Head to Head
- Arsenal have the slightly better record head-to-head, winning 76 times to Chelsea’s 63 (with 57 draws)
- Three of the last six games have ended in a draw (four if you include the 2017 Community Shield match that ended 1-1 before Arsenal won on penalties
- Chelsea have not scored more than two goals in a game since November
Arsenal Team News
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rob Holding and Danny Wellbeck are all out injured for Arsenal, but Hector Bellerin returned to action last week against West Ham. Lucas Torreira was rested but is expected to start, but no one is quite sure if the same applies to Mesut Ozil who was left out of the team completely at the weekend despite being fit.
Possible Arsenal XI: Bernd Leno; Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Laurent Koscielny; Hector Bellerin, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Nacho Monreal; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi; Alexandre Lacazette
Chelsea Team News
Alvaro Morata has a problem with his hamstring, one that will probably go away if he’s transferred to Atletico Madrid by the end of the week. Either way, he’s unlikely to get involved this weekend. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also out, so the pressure will once again be on Eden Hazard to lead the charge.
Possible Chelsea XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic; Pedro, Eden Hazard, Willian