Arsenal vs Chelsea on Saturday and the biggest pre-incident of the match could be The Blues’ captain John Terry’s absence.
John Terry was found guilty in the Anton Ferdinand race case. Football pundits such as Gary Linekar have expressed their unrest towards the Football Association’s decision stating that the severity of the punishment is insufficient. Chelsea’s back four might consist of Branislav Ivanović, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and the ever consistent Ashley Cole.
Either teams have looked consistent for time-being. Although Arsenal were expected to under-perform after the sale of two of their best players, they had face palmed each and every soul on the blue planet like they always do. Chelsea were also in a similar position following the departure of Didier Drogba to Shangai Shenhua in search of a bigger paycheck. Chelsea did not get into the market in search of a centre forward which shows their trust in the never consistent Fernando Torres. The addition of Eden Hazard to the roster shows that Fernando Torres can score, too.
Chelsea are in an amazing run of form as they managed to seize thirteen points from the possible fifteen. Their form in the other competition looks decent as they scored six goals past the Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper. They were fortunate to get away with a point in the opening fixture of the UEFA Champions League. Oscar, Chelsea’s new Brazilian prodigy has kept Frank Lampard’s starting berth in jeopardy following the two goals in two minutes against the Italian Champions, Juventus.
Chelsea got a with a 1-0 victory against Stoke City last week thanks to the goal from the former Arsenal leftback Ashley Cole. Roberto di Matteo would not have selection worries despite the superb displays from the likes of Victor Moses and Ryan Bertrand. Chelsea’s important task would be making the passes of Santiago Cazorla and Mikel Arteta incomplete. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata would find it difficult to get through the bouldered Arsenal defence. Petr Cech would not be tested much as the Gunners are reluctant to take the shot.
Arsenal’s Italian goalkeeper has kept clean sheets in 67% of the total games that he had started while the Polish shot stopper just managed 50%. Arsenal goalkeeper’s trait of the modern days is inherited by these two goalkeepers and that is ‘rash decision making’. Chelsea players must cash in on this weakmess of the Gunners if had to get away with something from the Emirates Stadium. Carl Jenkinson proved his doubters wrong as he has made awesome performances so far which keeps him as the best right back in the Premier League so far.
Arsene Wenger would have selection worries on Saturday as he has to pick only two from his defensive trio – Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Laurent Koscielny was the best centre back in Premier League last season and it’s not a suprise that he had drawn attention from the Spanish giants Barcelona. It’d be a tough call to drop the captain to the bench. Per Mertesacker’s performances so far have taken away the hearts of many and he is nicknamed ‘Big Fucking German’. Kieran Gibbs is good both defensively and offensively and he would give worries to the Chelsea’s defenders as well as forwards.
Arsenal’s midfield is awesomly controlled by Mikel Arteta. Abou Diaby trolls the defenders with his flicks, turns and dribbles and a similar performance can be expected from the Frenchman tomorrow. Santiago Cazorla, needless to say, would give nightmares to David Luiz and Gary Cahill. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are expected to fire for the Gunners while the player who would feature on the right wing is uncertain. It could be Gervinho or Alex Oxlade Chamberlain or Theo Walcott. Arsene Wenger might also employ the latter in a central role. Andrey Arshavin might also get his name on the starting lineup following his superb performane against Coventry City in Capital One Cup. Arsenal’s recent form also looks decent as the Gunners outplayed the Champions at their home.
This London Derby would not lack drama as everyone would remember the sending off of John Mikel Obi, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor few years ago following a brawl. Arsenal got four points while Chelsea had just got one in the previous two meetings last season. Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick as Arsenal scored five past Petr Cech. There have been 108 goals in 40 contests between Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League. Either teams would be looking forward to get away with maximum points on Saturday.
Mannone – Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs – Arteta – Diaby – Cazorla – Chamberlain – Podolski – Giroud.
Cech – Ivanovic – Cahill – Luiz – Cole – Lampard – Mikel – Mata – Oscar – Hazard – Torres.
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea.
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