It’s the second London derby as well as the first away game of the new season for the Blues as they look to secure another three points. A familiar foe awaits as they prepare to travel to north London to face Arsenal at the Emirates.
Chelsea will hope to continue their perfect start to the season after their 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace at the bridge last weekend. On the other hand, the Gunners are already feeling sorry for themselves after losing 2-0 to newly promoted premier league side Brentford.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been presented with the perfect opportunity as they look to get another convincing win and make something of a wide statement in the league as title contenders.
On paper, Chelsea are firm favorites to win this one and there’s every reason not to think so. However, Arsenal have a certain habit of stepping up in games like this and it would be unwise to take them for granted. In fact, Chelsea have struggled to beat Arsenal of late in competitive fixtures but that is in the past and we are here in the present.
Although both sides came head to head in preseason with Chelsea coming out on top, they are going to meet for the first leg of the PL match at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams have had completely different fortunes to start their season, bringing different motivation at both ends. The west Londoners will be looking forward to continuing their perfect start to the season while the north Londoners will be looking to grab their first three points of the season.
However, it’s a derby and in most cases recent form doesn’t matter as Chelsea will be looking forward to getting their revenge against the Gunners after failing to beat them in the league both home and away last season. Interestingly, Arsenal were the only team to beat Chelsea home and away last season.
The big news and the one Chelsea fans are looking out for. There is a feel-good factor as Romelu Lukaku looks set to make his debut in the starting Xi after taking part in training all week. What are the odds of the big Belgian getting a debut goal? I’ll say pretty good.
#️⃣ RL9. 👊 pic.twitter.com/p04fMcPAXr
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 20, 2021
Elsewhere, N’golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech who were both substituted in the Super Cup game vs Villareal are set to return and will be available for selection after missing out on the 3-0 win vs Crystal Palace.
Matchday eve! 👊 pic.twitter.com/lvuL8ppDNx
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 21, 2021
Thomas Tuchel also confirmed that Christian Pulisic has tested positive to corona virus, therefore won’t be available for selection. It is a dent in the strides of the American was on the score sheet last time out and could have built on that performance on Sunday once again.
Regardless, Tuchel has a healthy squad to pick from and it’ll be interesting to see his choices, especially further up the pitch.
My Predicted starting Xi;
Mendy, Rudiger, Christensen, Chalobah, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, Havertz and Lukaku
Chalobah will look to keep his place in defence after a fine start to the season in his last two games.
After missing out vs Palace due to a minor injury, N’golo Kante is set to make a return to the starting Xi.
Werner might be dropped to the bench in place of Kai Havertz after an unimpressive performance in his last two games. Against Palace, he was particularly poor and toothless upfront.
My verdict: Despite Arsenal’s disappointing start to the season, the Blues shouldn’t underestimate Arsenal. On a good day, the Gunners can be difficult to crack when they get it right. They might also be motivated to get the win in front of their fans at the Emirates. It could be a game of fine margins and one won by the side who makes better use of their chances.
My Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea