Arsenal have a point to prove this weekend following last season’s 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side.
League leaders Chelsea have started the season in flying form. Five wins and a draw from their opening six matches sees them enjoy a three-point lead at the top. Indeed, they would have had a perfect six-from-six record had it not been for a Chelsea legend equalizing for ten-man Manchester City late on.
Diego Costa leads the Premier League goal scoring charts with eight goals to his name already. The only question mark over him is whether his (apparently) suspect hamstring can hold up to a third game in eight days. It will have been the first time this season he’s played that amount of games in such a short space of time.
Joes Mourinho mentioned in his press conference last week that it was something they were concerned about and he’d been protecting him against it. Cesc Fabregas plays against Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time in his career. Arsenal apparently had first option on the Spaniard in the summer but didn’t take up the option, so it’ll be interesting to see how a fired up Fabregas does in this match.
The Gunners come into this game onthe back of a morale boosting 4-1 win over Galatasary in the Champions League. Danny Welbeck found his scoring touch, and Alexis Sanchez continued his bright start to his Arsenal career.
A home game with Gala is one thing, a trip to a Chelsea team in red-hot form is a whole different proposition. Even more so when you consider that Arsenal haven’t won against them in the past six meetings, and lost the corresponding fixture 6-0 last season.
Arsenal have seemingly displayed a bit more mental strength this season than in previous seasons, particularly in ‘big’ games, coming from behind against Manchester City, Spurs, and Everton.
As ever with Arsene Wenger’s side however, they are missing a number of first team players (Aaron Ramsey now confirmed out for six weeks) heading into this one.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Schurrle, Matic, Mikel, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck.
This year’s renewal should be a lot closer than last season’s 6-0 demolition, but Chelsea will still prove too strong for Arsenal and earn the three points. But if everything clicks for the gunners I’m going with a 2-1 win to Arsenal.