It is another Premier League weekend and what a game football enthusiasts have incoming, in the shape of another London derby. Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates, in what all have come to be know as an explosive encounter.
? L O N D O N C A L L I N G ❗️
NORTH ? WEST
EMERY ? SARRI
RED ? BLUE
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 19, 2019
The last time Arsenal met Chelsea, which was Unai Emery’s second league game in charge, Chelsea ran off with maximum points at Stamford Bridge.
This proved to be the turning point for The Gunners who went on to go on a 22 game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Once again, after a dip in performances lately, the Gunners will be hoping to not only exert revenge on Chelsea, but use the victory as a stepping stone to regain confidence and lost ground.
This will be no mean feat for The Gunners though as Chelsea will be up and ready for the challenge. Sitting pretty already with 6 points ahead of the Gunners and hoping to make it 9 points by the end of the game, there’s hardly room in their minds for slipping up and ending the day, with 3 points against Chelsea.
?? Kanu’s 15 minute hat trick.
? Mourinho calling Wenger a ‘specialist in failure’.
? @MichaelEssien’s screamer.
⚽️ @Persie_Official’s hat trick.
? Wenger and Mourinho’s touchline spat.
? Expect fireworks. pic.twitter.com/9humwHFSkG
— SPORF (@Sporf) January 19, 2019
Unlike his predecessor, Unai Emery is quite open about his thought process towards tonight’s match-up. Here are quotes from his pre-match conference;
On his expectation from tonight’s game vs Chelsea,
” The victory, firstly. Victory first but I think we are doing two different performances, at home and away. We want to find the balance between the two moments.
First, we are going to go game-by-game and Saturday we are at home and I think we are doing very big matches with big confidence with our supporters and I want the same spirit and the same performance on Saturday against Chelsea.
It’s a difficult, tough match and I think it’s a good test for us also. We wanted to go into this match with three points difference in the table, but our defeat at West Ham doesn’t give us this possibility.
But Saturday, I am looking forward to playing this match because I want to look at my team, our team, playing with a good performance and also to show our supporters we can do more and we can do better than we are doing away. “
On our current form;
” I think Saturday is a big test and our first objective is to be in the top four. It’s more difficult after our defeat against West Ham but we can take positives, like if we win on Saturday. It’s a good test and challenge. A win will take us closer to them. This will take us one step closer to our objective and this is the test. Over 38 matches some are small finals and Saturday for us is a small final. “
On what to expect from Chelsea;
” A very organised team with very important players. It will be difficult but I believe in our spirit, our quality, our organisation when we are playing at home with our supporters.
I think that each match in the Emirates is very special. It will be a tough match but if we play with a big performance, with organisation, I think we can win. It’s difficult and it’s also a test because we can be who we are. Between the beginning of the season when we played them and now, the 23rd game of the season, we are going to play them again. It’s a good moment and a very good test. “
Got to love the man though… He certainly isn’t one to run from a fight. His expectations of the crowd however, may be a little too ambitious as the declared state of financial affairs, which directly impacts this winter window for The Gunners, has successfully divided the camp.
People constantly ask…where is the money? Why can't we sell players for what they are worth.
From 2013-14 through 2016-17 we spent £136 million more on wages than Liverpool and £290 million more than Spurs.
This is the wage bill from 2013-2017 pic.twitter.com/X4DDsTtLI7
— Abhishek (@Abhimeyang) January 13, 2019
They may have been singing “we have got our Arsenal back” last month but the tunes have certainly changed since the announcement of lack of funds to improve their beloved team, in dire need to new signings to boost morale and performances in general.
It is difficult not to emphasize with their point of view though as they have been and still pay the highest ticket fees to watch their team play. (£53) informing them then, that only loan deals can be made this window is truly pushing it. Rumors of boycotting purchase of merchandize and even consumables on matchday are rife.
Hence, that spirit of camaraderie amongst the players and fans at The Emirates, which serves as the 12th player maybe missing tonight.
This will certainly be of magnificent news to the Blues who will be hoping to further dampen the mood by scoring early in the game.
It is imperative The Gunners return to a four man defence, have Ramsey or Özil starting and possibly leave out one of Lacazette or Aubameyang from the starting 11.
Possible Lineup vs Chelsea
Lento GK, Bellerin RB, Sokratis LCB, Mustafi RCB, Monreal LB, Lucas Torreira DM, Xhaka CM, Özil CAM, Ainsley Maitland-Niles RW, Iwobi LW & Lacazette CF.
Based strictly on history with Chelsea and recent form, a 2-2 draw is most likely. However, in the event one team prevails, it is most likely to be Chelsea as The Gunners have shown to be quite prolifigate in front of goal.
Hopefully, this scoreline vs Chelsea is wrong at the end of the day as The Gunners need to win this fixture, in order to have any hope of making the top 4 this season.