It’s raining London derbies in the premier league. A week back, an interesting and thrilling encounter between the north Londoners and now, before the gunners had celebrated their win over their bitter rivals another important game which may prove decisive in the premier league title race is about to be staged. Mourinho’s men have lost a crucial encounter at Villa Park 1-0 to Aston Villa, a decisive goal from Fabian Delph separating the two teams. A lot of decisions have been debated over the course of time which saw Ramires, Willian and Mourinho sent off. That makes both the players unavailable for the game. Both the brazil players are in good form and can be counted as stand-out midfield performers. Their absence is sure going to be felt. While Chelsea still have enough replacements in the form of Lampard, Mikel and Schurlle. So, it’s not something the blues should be worried about.
On the other hand, Arsenal are fighting with injuries since the start of new year. Ramsey and Ozil sidelined means the creativity solely rests on Santi Cazorla. Giroud’s form might also be a concern for Wenger. Lack of goals from the French striker recently puts him under immense pressure. This game also holds a special weightage since Chelsea at top of table leads Arsenal by 4 points who have a game in hand. If Arsenal have to stay in the race, Wenger’s men should look only for a win. But Arsenal’s away performances to big teams have left some dreadful memories for gunners. Having lost 6-3 at Etihad and 5-1 at Anfield, the gunners would surely look to restore their pride by winning this game.
These two contestants are the two best defensive sides in the premier league so far this season. Mertesacker and Koscielny have formed a solid partnership at the back leaving quite less job for Szczesny. On the other hand, Cahill and Terry also are a proven combination and Chelsea have a better keeper in Cech. Both the teams defense is not a concern for the respective sides to think of. It’s the striker department which needs to step up. Arsenal do not possess the world class strikers that Chelsea possess on paper but the Chelsea strikers aren’t in good form as well. The result more over depends on how the Arsenal’s defense would restrict Hazard .He has been sensational in the past few games with his dribbling and all round passing skills. If Chelsea could manage to score in the early minutes, they can easily kill the game from then on but Arsenal’s goal in the first minutes would produce an interesting game because the traditional Arsenal are more vulnerable at the back when they score a goal. Not only the fate of Arsenal and Chelsea depend on this but Liverpool and Manchester City’s title hopes also depend on this game. A draw would benefit the Reds and City but a Chelsea win would keep Arsenal at a distance from title considering Chelsea’s remaining fixtures. The game’s first half will be more interesting than the second half considering both the teams defensive strategies being deployed in previous games.
Prediction : 2-0 home win.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna- Mertesacker- Koscielny-Gibbs, Arteta-Oxlade Chamberlain, Rosicky- Cazorla-Podolski, Giroud.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic-Cahill-Terry-Azpilicueta, Matic- Luiz, Oscar-Schurlle-Hazard, Eto’o.