2021-22 Premier League: Week Two – Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal welcome Chelsea to Emirates Stadium in a blockbuster London derby in the concluding Super Sunday match. 

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners could go as high as 12th with a win combined with results elsewhere going in their favour, whereas victory by two or more goals could put Chelsea top of the table.

 

Team News

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian are fitness doubts for Arsenal after missing the Gunners’ away defeat at Brentford on the opening day of this season.

Gabriel (knee), Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah (both ankle), Alex Runnarsson (self isolation) and Alexandre Lacazette (fitness) remain ruled out.

New signing, Aaron Ramsdale is available for selection after signing on Friday, despite the official announcement coming after the noon deadline for league registration.

Chelsea could hand Romelu Lukaku a first start since his return to the club from Inter Milan, after having had to undergo a period of self-isolation.

Hakim Ziyech (shoulder) and N’Golo Kante (ankle) are doubts but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ruled out after a positive Coronavirus test and joins Christian Pulisic (Coronavirus) on the absentee list.

 

Stat Attack

  • Arsenal have avoided defeat in four of their last five meetings against Chelsea (W3, D1, L1).
  • Chelsea have won just one of their last five league trips to Arsenal (W1, D1, L3).
  • Two of Arsenal’s four goals in their league wins over Chelsea last season came from English players (Bukayo Saka & Emile Smith Rowe).
  • Arsenal have lost two of their last five opening home matches to a new season (W3, L2).
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last five opening away matches in a new season (W4, L1).

 

Prediction

After suffering a fairly embarrassing defeat at Brentford last weekend, Arsenal need significant improvement because without their key players, they struggled badly out of possession and lacked clinical finishing when they had the ball at their feet.

Chelsea on the other hand were simply dominant against Crystal Palace with fantastic confidence and energy to their attacking play, as well as in defence despite their man-marking at times appearing loose which needs tightening up just slightly.

This match on that note feels like an easy Chelsea win but Arsenal has been the Blues’ Achilles heel in recent seasons, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a dramatic turnaround in quality from the hosts otherwise this will be a routine away win especially with Lukaku back and ready to start firing in goals.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea

Result: Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea

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