Mikel Arteta will take charge of his first home game as Arsenal boss when the Gunners face Chelsea in a huge London derby.
Arteta’s side drew 1-1 away at Bournemouth in his first full game in charge but Arsenal still sit in only 11th and are only six points clear of the bottom three. They’ve only won one Premier League game in 11 and are struggling to keep touch with the teams above them.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are in the top four – but only just. After an impressive win away at Tottenham, Frank Lampard’s side disappointingly lost another home game to Southampton. Chelsea have won twice in their last seven games and Lampard will be expecting a response following the Southampton game.
Arsenal-Chelsea is always a huge game in the Premier League and a bit of extra spice has been added to it with the appointment of Arteta. Will he be able to secure his first win as Arsenal boss or will Lampard have the last laugh?
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick-Off?||Sunday 29th December|
|What Time Is Kick-Off?||14:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Being Played?||Emirates Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Premier League|
Arteta’s first home team selection will be of interest to many in the footballing world. He has problems at left full-back with both Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac both sidelined, meaning Bukayo Saka is likely to continue his role in defence.
Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli are also injury worries for the Spaniard while record signing Nicolas Pépé will be pushing for a start after being left on the bench for the Bournemouth game.
Lampard could change much of his side that lost at home as he looks to find the remedy to their poor run of form. Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains the only long term injury problem for the Blues.
With rotation in mind, there could be recalls for Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, who both came off the bench in the loss to Southampton. Lampard is likely to revert to a back four after being unsuccessful with the back three recently.
|Arsenal||Leno; Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Saka; Torreira, Xhaka; Pépé, Özil, Aubameyang; Lacazette.|
|Chelsea||Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Pulisic, Abraham, Willian.|
Arsenal have the slight edge in this London derby, having won 77 games to Chelsea’s 64 while another 57 have ended in draws.
It has been very equal in the recent clashes between the two sides, with both winning two of the last four. The Blues have had the slight edge in the Premier League however, winning nine of the last 15 league games including that famous 6-0 at Stamford Bridge.
The last game between the two sides was the Europa League final when Chelsea convincingly dispatched Arsenal 4-1. The Gunners won the last Premier League game at the Emirates thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal will be expecting an instant impact from new boss Mikel Arteta, especially after a run of form that has seen them slip into the bottom half of the league. They have one win in their last 11 (yes, ELEVEN) league games.
They’ve picked up just five points in their last five games, but did manage to get that sole win away at West Ham under the interim management of Freddie Ljungberg.
Chelsea’s form has been the epitome of inconsistency. They’ve lost home games to West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton in their last six league games but did manage a win away at Tottenham on the 22nd.
They are still on course to finish in the top four but their recent form hasn’t been good enough and Lampard has been outspoken in his criticism of his team. There’s no doubt he’ll want to beat the red side of north London only a week after triumphing over Spurs.
Here are both sides’ last five results…
|Chelsea 0-2 Southampton (26/12)||Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal (26/12)|
|Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea (22/12)||Everton 0-0 Arsenal (21/12)|
|Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth (14/12)||Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City (15/12)|
|Chelsea 2-1 Lille (10/12)||Standard Liège 2-2 Arsenal (12/9)|
|Everton 3-1 Chelsea (7/12)||West Ham 1-3 Arsenal (9/9)|
This is a really hard game to predict given Chelsea’s inconsistencies and the fact that it’s Arteta’s first home game in charge.
There should be quite an atmosphere, but this is the Emirates we’re talking about. Arsenal will score due to their strength in attack and Chelsea’s relatively leaky defence.
The result will majorly depend on what Chelsea side decides to show up, because if they aren’t at their best then they will get beaten. Arsenal to kick off the Arteta era with an important home win.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea