Ahead of Arsenal’s massive home clash against our noisy neighbours Chelsea this evening, we have gone over to the official Chelsea website to to see how the Blues are looking at this match. Chelsea are currently 7 points ahead of us in the table and we desperately need three points to keep in touch with our Top Four rivals, and with a great recent record against the Blues the players should be reasonably confident even though we are playing with a weakened side.
So here is the View From Stamford Bridge…..
As we kick off 2018 with a trip across London to take on Arsenal, here’s a closer look at the Gunners…
Arsene Wenger. The 67 year-old has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996 and has delivered three Premier League titles to the Emirates during his tenure. Against West Brom on Sunday, Wenger overtook Sir Alex Ferguson’s record by taking charge of his 811th Premier League game.The Frenchman saw his side slip to their biggest ever defeat to us at Stamford Bridge in 2014, as we ran out 6-0 winners that day.
Alexis Sanchez. Although out of contract in the summer, the striker is a key performer for the Gunners and provides goals and assists in the final third. The Chilean links up well with Mesut Ozil and tends to ghost into spaces between defence and midfield, proving difficult for defenders to pick up. Has notched seven Premier League goals so far this season and ranks Barcelona and Udinese amongst his former clubs.
Arsenal head into the fixture unbeaten in six Premier League games, with their last defeat coming on 2 December when Manchester United won at the Emirates. The Gunners have won 25 points from a possible 30 at home this season, winning eight times in front of their own fans. They have also kept six clean sheets in their 10 home Premier League matches but have conceded three goals in three of the other four games.
ONE TO WATCH
Midfield playmaker, Mesut Ozil, is a key component for Arsene Wenger’s side, as a large proportion of Arsenal’s attacking play goes through the German. The former Real Madrid man, who arrived at the Emirates in 2013, has netted four times in the Premier League so far this term, as well as contributing five assists. Like Sanchez, the German international is out of contract in the summer although the Gunners are looking to tie him down to a long-term deal.
WORN BOTH BADGES
Cesc Fabregas. Our midfielder will head into the game against his former club knowing that if he scores then it will be his 50th in the Premier League (14 for Chelsea, 35 for Arsenal). The Spaniard spent eight years at Arsenal before moving back to his hometown club of Barcelona. We recruited the 30 year-old in 2014 and he played his part in our Premier League triumphs of 2014/15 and 2016/17.
Arsenal v Chelsea – talking points and numbers
It is time to ring in the new and we do so with the next instalment of a very old fixture. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton get their 2018 previews underway…
Chelsea have clashed with Arsenal competitively more times than any other opponent: tonight is our 193rd meeting. We are one goal from our 100th at Arsenal in the league.
This will be the first evening game under floodlights there since December 2013, and the Blues approach the latest trip in decent nick. Over the past eight away matches only two sides have stacked up more points on the road than Antonio Conte’s, while Arsenal rank fourth among home teams.
Following the busy Christmas schedule, a second victory in three league visits to the Emirates Stadium would lift the champions 10 points clear of the Gunners, who currently lie sixth.
The new year also brings the first anniversary of Chelsea’s sixth and most-recent title triumph, the campaign for which it really kicked into gear halfway through the defeat at tonight’s match venue. Trailing 0-3 at the break, Antonio Conte switched to three at the back, and the rest is history.
Despite finishing 18 points adrift of the champions in the league last year, the Gunners came back to haunt the Blues twice, in the FA Cup and Community Shield. Now, with three games against them in as many weeks across two competitions this month, it would be nice to make amends.
This is Arsenal’s second London derby at the Emirates (the other being a 2-0 win against Spurs), and the last of Chelsea’s four on the road. The Blues previously triumphed at Tottenham but slipped up at West Ham and Crystal Palace.
We do not have much to thank Palace for this campaign, but their recent draw with Manchester City ended the league leaders’ chance of superseding the Blues’ Premier League record of 11 consecutive away victories, set between 6 April and 7 December 2008. Chelsea’s epic run started with a 2-0 win at the Etihad and included another 3-1 success there in the September.
THE BEST THAT CAN HAPPEN THIS EVENING…
A 100th-goal salute at the Arsenal, and back up to second place.
PREMIER LEAGUE CLEAN SHEETS
David De Gea (Man Utd) 12
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) 11
Ederson (Man City) 11
Nick Pope (Burnley) 10
Petr Cech (Arsenal) 9
MILESTONES ARSENAL IN NUMBERS
13 League championships, last in 2004
13 FA Cups, last in 2017
2 League Cups, last in 1993
15 FA Charity/Community Shields (1 shared), last in 2017
1 European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994
1 Fairs Cup in 1970
Arsenal remain unbeaten in six Premier League games since Manchester United won at the Emirates on 2 December.
The Gunners have won 25 points from a possible 30 at home this season. Their eight wins were against Leicester, Bournemouth, West Brom, Brighton, Swansea, Tottenham, Huddersfield and Newcastle, with one draw with Liverpool and the one defeat to Manchester United.
They have kept six clean sheets in their 10 home Premier League matches but have conceded three goals in three of the other four games.
Only Manchester City and Manchester United have won more points at home this term than Arsenal.
Against West Brom on Sunday, Arsene Wenger overtook Sir Alex Ferguson by taking charge of his 811th Premier League game.
Manager Arsene Wenger
Days in charge: 7,765
Arsene Wenger’s managerial record against Chelsea