Sunday 17th September. 1:30PM. Sky Sports
A big weekend of Premier League football is headlined by a huge London derby at Stamford Bridge as the champions welcome Arsenal in what is sure to be one of the most exciting battles of the season so far.
Both London resumed the campaign with victories following the international break before registering home wins in European competition in midweek. When combined with the rivalry between clubs, players, and managers, it should make for a thrilling encounter.
Are Blues Back To Their Best?
The opening day wobble coupled with the petulance of Diego Costa certainly raised a few questions, but Antonio Conte seems to have steadied the ship and Chelsea are now right back on track to have a fantastic season.
A 6-0 hammering of Qarabag further underlined their return to form and the Blues will now seek a fifth straight competitive win as they take on the Gunners. With star man Eden Hazard in contention for his first start, confidence will be strong.
Late signing Danny Drinkwater is due to miss the next few weeks through injury, but a plethora of midfield talent should have them covered. Meanwhile, both Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi will be hoping for selection against the Gunners.
Chelsea are looking pretty strong right now, but they should expect a battle at the Bridge.
Gunners Need Sanchez Back Firing On All Cylinders
A difficult start to their away campaign has piled the pressure on Arsene Wenger and he’ll be desperate to avoid a third straight opening away loss, which would be a first for the Gunners since 1954. But the Gunners can be optimistic against the champions.
Arsenal have enjoyed some decent results against Chelsea over the last 15 months, beating them in the FA Cup, Community Shield and home clash in last year’s league meetings.With Alexis Sanchez back, and scoring, on Thursday night too, it’s hardly the disaster that some people have painted.
Wenger does have a few problems to solve, especially on the road against top teams, but this is the perfect opportunity to do that. Having said that, Thursday’s developments were hardly ideal preparations.
On their day, Arsenal can still beat anyone. But they’ll need to bring their best to overcome the champions. Whatever happens, we should be in for a cracker.
Chelsea v Arsenal Betting
Chelsea enter Sunday’s showdown as the firm favourites at 3/4 while Arsenal are priced 7/2 to cause a minor upset. At odds of 11/4, though, the bookies think that even the draw is unlikely.
It’s not hard to see why the Blues are so heavily fancied but the Gunners shouldn’t be ruled out completely, especially after the results they’ve picked up in recent head-to-head meetings.
The visitors can give Chelsea something to think about, but the hosts should still come through the clash with a win by punishing a vulnerable Arsenal backline.
Whatever happens it is likely to be competitive from the start, and Arsenal will want to assert some physical authority. With this in mind, there’s a good chance that we will see bookings for both sides, and some players are more likely to get them than others.
Swiss midfielder Xhaka stands out as one of the most likely culprits to be cautioned. It’s worth waiting for confirmed news but, assuming he starts, he’ll be a great selection for a card at anytime.