Arsenal and Chelsea slug it out this weekend in the Premier League’s top four race. Manchester United’s win over Tottenham Hotspur set this one up nicely for another Premier League cracker, a tactical battle awaits.
Whatever outcome at Wembley favoured Chelsea pre-game; a Spurs win would knock off a rival and tighten the blues’ grip on fourth spot. A United win would hand Sarri’s men a sniff at Spurs’ position in third.
An Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer masterstroke and superhuman goalkeeping heroics from David De Gea ensured Spurs nervously look over their shoulders. Just one point separates them from Arsene Wenger’s favourite league position after being close to first place over Christmas.
Both teams have wobbled in their respective new philosophies: Arsenal have lacked creativity and are shambolic in defence. Chelsea have found it hard to score goals with ‘Sarriball’, reason why they have agreed to sign Gonzalo Higuain.
The Blues would feel they can get at Arsenal and secure a nine-point buffer ahead of their rivals. This would leave Spurs, without Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, quaking in their boots in third place.
Eden Hazard would no doubt have a say in how Chelsea perform on the day. He was rather quiet in the defeat of Newcastle, despite grabbing an assist. Hazard turns up in the big games and he would be looking forward to taking Arsenal’s shaky defence out for a dance.
Sarri knows his under-firing attack can prove too much for the Gunners’ soft under-belly, there’s also the tantalizing prospect of a sequel to the Hudson-Odoi vs Bellerin battle from pre-season at some point.
The midfield battle would be vital in executing the high-press and dictating the tempo of the game. It presents a chance for N’Golo Kanté to finally put comparisons with ‘Mini Eddie Guerreiro’ to bed.
Chelsea cannot win the title this season and top four is undoubtedly the target in the league, this is a chance to go nine points above their London rivals with all the local bragging rights.
The lads need to ensure they achieve what they’ve set out to do and it’s over to them now really.
Arsenal’s prowess should not be understated, they have scored 12 in the last four home league games. An entertaining game is certainly in store.
Arsenal edge the recent head-to-head stats, two wins and three draws in the last six and can trust a deadly frontline. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang share 21 of the Gunners’ 46 goals this season.
The prospect of Unai Emery’s men going nine points behind their rivals in the top four race is devastating. The Derby at home is certainly a must-not-lose for the gunners.
Hopefully Chelsea weather Arsenal’s early storm and take their chances, there’s no better chance to pull clear of the Gunners for good.
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