It’s Chelsea vs Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. While the fortunes, form, table position and motivation for these two traditional London rivals is vastly different at this stage, the one thing that remains constant is that both clubs will be super keen to show the world what colour London is. Although the Blues will not be at full strength due to the ongoing injury issues with Kovacic and now Christensen, Tuchel will still have a strong line-up to choose from in order to try and get the job over the under-firing Gunners who look a shadow of their former selves. That said, Arteta’s men have a good record against the Champions League and FA Cup finalists’ in recent times and will no doubt look to this for inspiration as they try and somewhat salvage their dismal season. With that, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social give their thoughts and predictions regarding the Chelsea vs Arsenal clash.
Chelsea vs Arsenal: Introduction
A game that typically needs no introduction to be fair. These are two of the more recognised London derbies given the large global following of both teams built on the simmering rivalry during the late 90s through to now whereby the bitterness continues to develop, particularly on social media!
In terms of the recent fortunes of the two clubs during the past couple of seasons, it’s fair to say that the gap is widening and the trajectory seems to be world’s apart. On one hand, Chelsea, following their transfer ban, qualified for the top 4 and went out to the market to bolster their squad who in turn have performed reasonably well to put themselves in a position to start their ascension back to the top of the Premier League summit starting next season. On the other, Arsenal continue to dwindle down in the middle of the table and devoid of ambition to genuinely compete for higher honours, not even their highly-coveted 4th place trophy that they desperately desire. The interesting parallel between the two clubs is that both had past players come in to try and kickstart a new era.
In mid-January, Chelsea decided to make the hard decision to replace Lampard with Tuchel (who has done brilliantly) to help reinvigorate the Blues’ season given they were in a difficult situation at the time of his departure. This is despite Lampard helping the Blues get back into the Champions League while losing Hazard and having no transfer capability. Since Tuchel took over, Chelsea are in a good position to end in the season in the top 4, and are in the Champions League and FA Cup final respectively which vindicates the difficult decision the Blues Board had to make. Meanwhile, poor old Arsenal have slipped further into obscurity and irrelevance as they linger down in the middle somewhere in the League and are out of the Europa League following their dismal display against Villareal (ironically managed by former Gunner Unai Emery) which ended their slim hopes of a return to the premier European competition next season. During this perennial decline however, Arsenal continued to back Arteta which speaks volumes about the vastly different ambitions and priorities of the two clubs.
Pivoting back to this clash however, it’s fair to say the bigger picture context hasn’t been too much of a factor as the Gunners have strangely had good fortunes against us more often than in the past couple of seasons. This included the highly controversial FA Cup final win whereby they somehow secured a 2-1 victory over us following the incorrect sending off of Mateo Kovacic. Further, Arsenal fans will not forget when Martinelli ran a long straight line to score at Stamford Bridge and helped them obtain a 2-2 victory at Stamford Bridge. The last time Chelsea celebrated a 2-2 victory like that, we qualified for the 2012 Champions League Final. For all of the hype surrounding the Blues’ form lately, one must be cautious of a wounded enemy, therefore Tuchel’s troops will have to be fully concentrated to avoid a shock result like what happened in the reverse fixture.
From a personnel perspective for the Blues, they will continue to be without Mateo Kovacic and now Andrea Christensen following his injury he sustained against Manchester City a few days ago, but apart from that, it appears as though Tuchel will have a good complement of players to pick from. The question is: will Tuchel go full strength, or, will he look to rotate and trust his non-regulars so as to preserve the ‘best’ XI ahead of the FA Cup Final?
Ultimately time will tell, but let’s see what the writers of The Chelsea Social have to say in terms of how the Chelsea vs Arsenal clash will unfold.
Chelsea vs Arsenal, regarless of the circumstances, is always a clash that I look forward to. While the fortunes, ambitions and prospects of the two teams couldn’t be further than our current table position, the reality is that when these two teams cross the white line, all of that context goes out the window. This is war, this is the battle to determine what colour London is!
This is a potential ‘trap’ game in the sense that, despite Arsenal seemingly having nothing to play for, that’s where they are at their most dangerous given there’s no pressure on them. Adding to this is the fact we will undoubtedly have one eye on the FA Cup Final a few days later. When these factors are coupled together, there is the potential for a shock result to surface. That said, Tuchel has done a great job at keeping the squad grounded and focused on approaching (mostly) each game with the requisite level of professionalism and determination to ensure we put our best feet forward and work collectively to achieve our desired outcome – winning.
I’m intrigued to see how Tuchel will line us up against the old enemy knowing that a win will go a long way into securing the all-important top four spot, but at the same time, there’s the FA Cup Final a few days later and will be Tuchel’s first opportunity to lock in some silverware and get the team in a positive mindset ahead of the Champions League Final a couple of weeks later. Decisions decisions! I shared my thoughts on the this in my preview so it will be fascinating to see which way Tuchel leans towards i.e. prioritise this game with full strength, or try and find a good balance for both this game and the FA Cup Final.
Regardless, there’s enough quality, form and material motivation for us to not only get the job done, but doing so convincingly. In the end, I’m expecting a statement performance from Chelsea and remind the footballing community that London was, is, and will always be, Blue!
Final Score: Chelsea 3 – 0 Arsenal
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues continue their hunt to finish in a top four place with a London Derby against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. In what is a crucial few weeks towards the end of the campaign, Chelsea have three final Premier League games with the first against the Gunners where three points could see us all but confirm a place in next season’s Champions League.
We have seemed to struggle in recent league meetings to Arsenal and we’ll be hoping get revenge from our 3-1 defeat to them in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day at the Emirates. The Blues head into the match in excellent form and last week picked up two impressive results, defeating Real Madrid 2-0 to reach the Champions League Final, before leaving it late to pick up three vital points away at the Etihad against Manchester City to win 2-1 on the weekend. Tuchel opted to rest a number of key players in that City clash including the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz who will be well rested and fully fit for this game. However, with the FA Cup Final coming up this Saturday, the German may consider fielding another rotated side though, we shall find out in due course who features and who doesn’t.
As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta’s side have very little to play for from now until the end of the season having crashed out of Europe to Villarreal and now look unlikely to finish in a European place. However, with the weight lifted off their shoulders, the Gunners will most likely see this game as a chance to get one over the Blues. I do expect this match to be an interesting encounter and Arsenal do have the firepower with players such as Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette, who can no doubt cause the Blues some problems. Tuchel’s men will certainly have the FA Cup Final on their minds but the main priority for now is to get the victory that can solidify a place in the top four. I see this be a tight affair at the Bridge but I reckon we have enough to get the edge over the North London club and pick up yet another win.
Final Score: Chelsea 1 – 0 Arsenal
Chelsea vs Arsenal represents the time for revenge at a crucial stage of the season. The 3-1 defeat to Arsenal earlier on in the season hurt us massively and tonight would be the perfect night to claim a massive victory that should confirm our place in the top four. Arsenal’s season all but ended last Thursday night when they were knocked out of the Europa League semi finals by Villarreal, while we moved into the Champions League final on Tuesday night, beating Real Madrid.
It’s a clash between two sides with wildly different aims coming towards the end of the campaign, and I’m expecting a much different game to the one we failed to turn up to on Boxing Day. The team may not be as strong as it could be with the FA Cup Final coming up on Saturday, but I’m expecting a win nonetheless.
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal
The Blues head home to Stamford Bridge to take on Arsenal in a London Derby. The Gunners took 3 points off a miserable Chelsea squad in the reverse fixture in December 2020. The Blues should be more than motivated to topple their rivals and prove a point that London is Blue.
Some rotation will likely be done by Thomas Tuchel yet again as the FA Cup Final is looming at the weekend against a resolute Leicester City side. With that in mind, I expect the Blues will line up with Mendy in goal, Azpi, Zouma and Rudiger ahead of him in defence. I predict a start for Hudson-Odoi at RWB, and Alonso to yet again start at LWB. The central midfielders will see some rotation with Gilmour and Jorginho, giving Kante a much needed rest before facing his former team on Saturday. I expect the front three will be Mount, Werner, and Ziyech.
Final Score: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
Written by Matt, Luka, Travis and RJ
Edited by RJ Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings)
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