A sense of long time, no see in London Derby


Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge in a midweek London Derby, their second clash in under a month.

Two late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham spoilt Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s Emirates welcome party and gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory on December 29.

But the West London side have struggled in recent weeks. A 94th-minute winner from Isaac Hayden meant Chelsea lost 1-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday, their fifth defeat from their last 10 matches.

Arsenal have been improving performance-wise under Mikel Arteta, but have still been dropping points. Sheffield United’s late equaliser at the Emirates meant that Arsenal have only won once in their last six games.

Stamford Bridge has not been a nice ground for Arsenal in recent years. The Gunners last win there came back in October 2011, since then Chelsea have won six of their previous eight meetings (In all competitions).

Frank Lampard will be hoping his side are on top form tomorrow. With the teams below all facing difficult opposition this matchday (Manchester United vs Burnley, Wolves vs Liverpool, Sheffield United vs Manchester City). It’s important that Chelsea further tighten the grip on 4th spot.

For Arsenal, a victory in West London could see them climb as high as 8th in the table, and reduce the margin between them and Chelsea to seven points.

Team news

For Chelsea – Long term injury to Marco Van Ginkel. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a calf injury, Christian Pulisic has a pelvic injury. Both are expected back in February. Marcos Alonso has a thigh problem and Reece James will have a late fitness test.

For Arsenal – Long term injuries to Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is suspended. Sead Kolasinac and Reiss Nelson have thigh problems and will be unavailable until February. Sokratis  has an illness and will have a late fitness test.

Frank Lampard has praised the Arsenal boss ahead of their clash:

“This league is so competitive. I know that they are a good team with good players. There has been a change when Mikel Arteta came in, we must be on guard and at our best.

“His effect is very quick and sudden, we felt that when we first played them. He is a good coach and he will get time.”

Arteta has seen change since the Gunners’ defeat to Chelsea last month:

“Well, a lot of things happened and it seems longer than a month to be fair with the amount of games, days that we trained and the amount of things that happened.

“Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives that I am finding in terms of reactions and the things that they are taking onboard. We have managed to change, a little bit, the energy and the atmosphere and the relationship and the chemistry with our fans, which was massively important for us.

“So yes, in terms of results, it could have been a little bit different. I think we’ve been very unlucky and there are other aspects as well which have influenced that but in general, yes.”


Chelsea wins: 65

Draws: 57

Arsenal wins: 77


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