Date: Saturday 18th August 2018
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
After a comfortable enough opening day for us against Huddersfield last week, today’s late game sees us at home to Arsenal.
The Gunners had a tough start last week with an inevitable defeat to Manchester City and on paper, you’d think they wouldn’t particularly fancy the next fixture drawn to have been against us either. They struggled against top five sides last season, with just six points from the ten games, although we didn’t exactly cover ourselves in glory last season either, and whilst they’ve only scored once in their last six league and cup visits to Stamford Bridge, that was under Arsene Wenger. This season, of course, we face an Arsenal side under a new manager – and obviously we have a new manager as well (but that’s nothing new), so it could be an interesting one.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri gives his first thoughts on the Premier League, saying “I think that, at this moment, in English football there is one club above the others. This club is Manchester City. We have to try to do our best. We have to try to reach 101% of our potential. Then we have to see. I don’t know, now, what can happen. But my feeling is that we can be a very good team.” Whilst on today’s opponents, he says “I think that Emery is a very good coach. He won three times the Europa League. He won in France with PSG. And I think Arsenal, this season, will be competitive. I think that they will be able to fight for a place in the Champions League.”
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery meanwhile, says “We need to keep our personality, our mentality. Against [Manchester] City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes even when we were losing. That was a good thing… I want us to continue with this work and to be competitive for 90 minutes, but with a better performance both individually and collectively.”
For Chelsea, Cesc Fabregas (knee) remains out although Eden Hazard may return to the starting line-up.
For Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (fractured fibula), Sead Kolasinac (knee) and Carl Jenkinson (ankle) are out but Nacho Monreal could return.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Morata, Willian
ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Ozil, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang
Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal (17 September 2017)
- Apart from last season’s goalless draw, Chelsea have won five of their last six home league games against Arsenal
- Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
- Arsenal have kept clean sheets in their last two league and cup games at Stamford Bridge.
- Arsenal have lost seven of their last eight away league games
- Arsenal lost 11 top-flight away matches last season, equalling their highest tally in the Premier League
BBC Chelsea: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Sportsmole: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal