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Chelsea vs Arsenal: Preview Of The London Derby

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New appointments, Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery are set to lock horns in their first ever London Derby as Arsenal face Chelsea this weekend at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri got off to a flyer with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield whereas Emery’s men suffered a 2-0 opening-day defeat to Manchester City.

Eden Hazard has proved to be too hot for the Gunners’ defense to handle in the past and his agibility will surely test the new centre-back pairing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.

Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found the back of the net 10 times in 13 appearances for Arsenal last season and his teammates will be keen on using his pace to exploit the Chelsea defense.

The new boss is probably hoping his side can bounce back from their embarrassing defeat to City last week with a promising result this time around.

Emery’s centre-backs will surely be tested, but Petr Cech looked uncomfortable with his new requirement after the former Sevilla boss asked him to play from the back in order to feed build-ups.

“I am very happy with his performance,” the Spanish gaffer said ahead of Arsenal’s next Premier League fixture, which sees them play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday [via Telegraph].

“I think he has experience, quality, capacity like a first goalkeeper with us – and also Bernd Leno.

“They are two important goalkeepers for us. Different qualities but for us, like we want to play, the two goalkeepers can play.

“Saturday the decision is easy, Petr Cech will continue to start the match, I believe in him. If he starts bad, I believe in him also.”

It seems like Cech will continue in goal for the Londoners against Chelsea despite criticism over his performance against the Skyblues.

Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was deployed at left-back during his last outing but unfortunately fractured his fibula and will be out for up to eight weeks. Nacho Monreal has been confirmed to have been training all week and is an option to return to the side against the Blues, while right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner could also be switched to the opposite flank.

On the other hand, the Blue Lions showed little vulnerability at Huddersfield but the Gunners’ boss will undoubtedly be plotting a way to coax David Luiz into a defensive slip.

Emery has suggested that he will persist with his style of pressing and playing out from the back – despite being outplayed by City. He said:

“We need to keep our personality, our mentality.

“Against City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes even when we were losing.

“That was a good thing… I want us to continue with this work and to be competitive for 90 minutes but with a better performance both individually and collectively.”

However, asked on a timescale for when ‘the Unai Emery way‘ will be embedded, he said:

“You need more time to completely look how you want.”

He added: “The first game gives us more information for things to improve.

“We need to continue in our way, to make this difference in the next match and in the future.

“For me, it’s most important the players know positive things we did, and also the things we need to improve.”

Predicted line-ups:

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa – Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso – Kante, Jorginho, Barkley – Willian, Morata, Hazard.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Cech – Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal – Ramsey, Torreira, Xhaka – Ozil, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan.


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