Arsenal v Chelsea
Wednesday, Jan 03 – 19:45pm
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom on Sunday, after the Baggies were handed a controversial late penalty when Calum Chambers was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Arsene Wenger has been critical of Premier League referees following the incident, with the Frenchman claiming refs are ‘stuck in the 1950s’. Wenger has little time to dwell on the result however, and must now find a way past Chelsea to reignite hopes of challenging for the Top 4.
Chelsea were fantastic in their 5-0 rout of Stoke City at the weekend, and are now undefeated in five Premier League matches. Antonio Conte’s decision to rotate his squad over the Christmas period has proven successful for the Blues, with Chelsea heading into tonight’s match the fresher of the two sides. The Blues remain third in the league table, taking 45 points from the first 21 games this season.
Let’s take a look at the stats:
- Arsenal won 3-0 when they hosted Chelsea in this fixture last season, following at five match winless run against the Blues at the Emirates (D3 L2).
- No team has claimed more victories at the Emirates than Chelsea in all competitions (5 – level with Man United).
- Arsenal have not lost either fixture with Chelsea in a season since 2011/12 – the last time they kept a clean sheet in both league matches was back in 1998/99.
- The Gunners have failed to find the back of the net in seven of their last nine Premier League matches against Chelsea.
- The last seven meetings between these two sides has seen six red cards – a Chelsea player has been sent off in all of the last three matches between the two clubs.
- The Blues have tasted defeat in each of their last two London Derbies in the Premier League (West Ham and Crystal Palace) – the last time they lost three in a row was back in 2001/02.
- Today’s fixture marks Arsene Wenger’s 60th clash with Chelsea – he has faced no side more times as Arsenal manager (W22 D16 L21).
- Cesc Fabregas has never scored at the Emirates since leaving Arsenal – during his time with the Gunners he netted 19 goals at the stadium.
Chelsea will certainly be the more confident of the two sides heading into tonight’s game. Arsenal seem to be giving their opponents too many chances at the moment, and while they can perhaps get away with it against some of the smaller clubs, Chelsea’s forwards will punish any mistakes. The speculation surrounding Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez seems to be having a negative impact on the Gunners, and a lack of harmony in the team could prove costly. We’re backing Chelsea to take the three points.