Premier League’s youngest managers face off in London Derby


Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal welcomes Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium in a clash between the two clubs’ ex-captains.

Arteta, 37, takes charge of his first home game in charge of the Gunners on Sunday afternoon. Despite their 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, the Spaniard will be hoping that his new side can build on their promising performance at the Vitality.

In contrast Lampard, 41, will be demanding a reaction following the Blues’ shock 2-0 at home to Southampton on Boxing Day and no doubt be wanting a similar display to which they showed at Spurs on December 22, where they won 2-0.

It is also a clash between two of the top flight’s leading marksmen. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 12 goals this campaign and Tammy Abraham current tally stands at 11.

Both sides have been out of form in recent weeks. Chelsea have lost five of their previous seven games where in contrast, Arsenal are without a home win since October 6.

Victory for the hosts would end their abysmal record at the Emirates and would move them within five points of their London neighbours, who could also end up outside the top four depending on other results.

Three points for the away side, however, would make it seven wins on the road and could potentially see the 2012 European Champions close the gap on Leicester and Manchester City above them.

The last six league clashes between these two have been fairly even with two wins and two draws a piece. The last meeting was in the Europa League Final. Chelsea embarrassed the Gunners 4-1 in Baku which meant Arsenal did not qualify for the Champions League.

Arsenal have an impressive record at home to Chelsea, winning three of their last seven home meetings with Chelsea in all competitions.

Team news

Arsenal will still be without a recognised left-back following Kieran Tierney’s shoulder dislocation and Sead Kolasinac’s ligament damage in his ankle.

Sokratis suffered concussion at Bournemouth and is a huge doubt for Sunday’s clash.

Possible inclusions for Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding, who will go through late fitness tests. But Calum Chambers is available following his suspension.

For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus Cheek is still not ready following his long-term leg injury meanwhile fellow midfielder Marco Van Ginkel suffered a knee injury; he is back in training but has no set return date.

Reece James will not feature in the London Derby after sustaining an ankle injury but Marcos Alonso could feature following a muscular problem.

Mikel Arteta on importance of the supporters:

“We play for them. At the end of the day, they’re expecting a lot from us.”

“We have to give them enjoyment, we have to make their lives better and when we win, they will be better because they will be happier. It’s our responsibility and we have to do everything we can to achieve that.

“First, I think I need the players and if I can convince the players, afterwards we can convince the fans. I think it’s a very, very important part of my job.

“Energy is everything, in life, in football and in sports. If we are able to generate this, it will give us a lift.”

Frank Lampard on his sides’ recent stumble:

“I know we’ve got a lot of work to do. It doesn’t surprise me some of the results we’ve had but we’ve got to be brutal with ourselves and say, ‘it’s all well and good beating Tottenham and feeling on top of the world but we need to reproduce in different ways and against different opposition’.”


Arsenal wins – 77

Draws – 57

Chelsea wins – 64


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