Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal welcome London rivals, Chelsea, to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with both sides looking for a much-needed win.
Arsenal started life under the new management of Arteta at Bournemouth on Boxing Day and secured a 1-1 draw thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strike, which cancelled out Dan Gosling’s opener for the hosts. Despite dominating the game, the Gunners failed to create too many chances again, something Arteta will need to address quickly.
Arsenal slipping down the table
Arsenal have slipped down to eleventh place in the Premier League after a run of just one win from their last ten games, scoring just twelve goals in the process. The Gunners home form isn’t too great either, having won just three of their nine EPL games at the Emirates this season.
Chelsea are going through an inconsistent spell at the moment as well, winning two and losing three of their last five games. They will have been desperately disappointed to have lost 2-0 at home against Southampton on Boxing Day after an excellent 2-0 win at Tottenham before Christmas.
Chelsea boast good away form
That win at Spurs was their sixth on the road, so they can boast the third best away form in the Premier League. They are also amongst the division’s highest scorers away from Stamford Bridge and will be happy to be playing Arsenal while they are going through their own turmoil. Of their nine away games, eight of them have seen over 2.5 goals.
Chelsea have enjoyed a better head-to-head record in recent years in the Premier League, winning half of the ten fixtures between the two clubs since 2014. When the clubs met last season, each won their respective home games. Chelsea were 3-2 winners at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Pedro, Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso, whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi replied for the Gunners. However, when the sides then met at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny.
The last meeting between the two clubs came in the Europa League final in Baku in May. Chelsea ran out 4-1 winners to lift the trophy, with goals that night coming from Olivier Giroud, Pedro, and an Eden Hazard brace; Alex Iwobi scored the solitary goal for the Gunners.
Arsenal’s last three games at home have seen over 2.5 goals, whilst eight of Chelsea’s nine away games have seen over 2.5 goals. Arsenal have not won any of their last five home games, whilst Chelsea have the third best away form in the Premier League this season
Mikel Arteta will hope to stamp his mark at Arsenal, and this could be the ideal time to do it. Chelsea’s young side are showing some inconsistency and will have had their confidence dented by that shock defeat against Southampton. They remain in the top four, but a host of clubs are beginning to make ground on them which will only crank up the pressure.
In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe the Gunners possess match winners and they can help Arteta secure his first win as Arsenal manager in a game that should provide plenty of goals.
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