The Boxing Day brings us a bunch of interesting Premier League fixtures. Chelsea visit the Emirates Stadium to face a struggling Arsenal side.
Following two consecutive defeats against Everton and Wolves, Chelsea picked up an important win against West Ham to remain in the top 4 race. The club currently sit at 5th, a point behind Everton and 6 points behind the league leaders Liverpool. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s miserable form continues as they were recently knocked out of the Carabao Cup quarterfinals, losing 4-1 to Manchester City.
Arsenal were expected to build on their success in the FA Cup and the Community Shield. However, things haven’t been going well for Mikel Arteta’s men. The Gunners are currently 15th in the league table, being just 4 points away from the relegation zone. It’s safe to say that Arsenal’s start to the season has been more than underwhelming.
The current FA Cup winners haven’t won a single game in the league since beating Manchester United in the beginning of November. Arsenal have failed to win their last 7 league games.
The pressure keeps mounting up on Mikel Arteta as many fans are asking him to be sacked. At this point, one could consider the outrage to be understandable as there’s no doubt that he should be doing much better with the group of players he has at his disposal.
Frank Lampard’s side, meanwhile, has gathered 25 points from their first 14 league games. Chelsea have also been doing fairly okay when it comes to scoring goals. The new acquisition, Timo Werner, has 4 goals and 4 assists into his name despite being played wide.
Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, the other new signings, have also started just fine. The expensive Kai Havertz has failed to put an impact so far, though.
With the competition and the race for top 4 heating up this season, Frank Lampard’s side will have to be at their best to achieve it.
Team news and predicted lineups
Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the last two games due to a calf problem, and he’s doubted to start tomorrow as well. Gabriel Martinelli picked up an injury in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals against Manchester City. Granit Xhaka returns from his three-match suspension.
As for Chelsea, Reece James and Ben Chilwell are huge doubts. Hakim Ziyech remains sidelined because of an injury as well.
*Predicted Arsenal lineup*: Leno, Holding, Gabriel, David Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Xhaka, Tierney, Pepe, Willian, Lacazette (3-4-3 formation)
*Predicted Chelsea lineup*: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Thiago Silva, Emerson, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Pulisic, Werner, Abraham (4-3-3 formation)
Arsenal got the better of Chelsea in the FA Cup final last season. Meanwhile in the league, Chelsea drew 2-2 against them at Stamford Bridge in January 2020, and defeated them at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019.
Arsenal vs Chelsea previous results:
|Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (FA Cup final 2020)||01/08/2020|
|Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal (Premier League 2019-20)||21/01/2020|
|Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League 2019-20)||29/12/2019|
Chelsea have a pretty good record against the teams in the bottom half of the table. Meanwhile, Arsenal are winless in their last 7 league games. On paper, it might look like a very close contest, but considering Arsenal’s current form, Chelsea should definitely be considered to be the favourites to win this game.
Final result: Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
Goalscorers: Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham