Arsenal v Chelsea
It’s time for Arteta’s Gunners to see what they’re really made of. A huge game in north London as Arsenal bid to keep on the tail of Man City after giving up their position in first place recently.
Chelsea on the other hand are having what can only be described as a mess of a season. The Blues find themselves in the bottom half of the table in 12th place despite a record-breaking winter spending spree of £291.65m [Sporting News].
Arsenal have been on a rollercoaster of emotions this campaign, but it looks like they are on a downward drop at just the wrong time. Arsenal are enduring a four-match winless league run (D3, L1). A victory-less streak topped by Mikel Arteta spanned seven games from November to December 2020.
The Arsenal faithful will be buoyed by the incredible London derby record boasted by the Gunners this season. Of the 11 London derbies played so far, Arsenal are unbeaten having won 9 and drawn 2 – a top-flight record.
Chelsea look like a broken team since Todd Boehly has made his mark on the squad. Lampard, despite only being hired on a temporary basis, has a real task on his hands trying to form some sort of unity.
Since Lampard’s return it is winless in 5 (L5). You have to go back to 1993 to find a longer stretch of consecutive losses for the Blues (6).
But, you can’t win a game if you don’t score. Lampard has only seen one goal since his return – a deflected strike from Conor Gallagher in defeat to Brighton.
Chelsea’s only real recognised striker is out-of-favour, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who hasn’t started a game since the reverse of this fixture in November.
It’s a difficult game to predict, as the old adage goes ‘form goes out of the window’ in derbies could be relevant here, surely Chelsea can’t continue to be this bad? But I do expect Arsenal to show some resilience and put some pressure on Man City.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal.