Saturday, August 13, 2022

3 Key Battles That Could Decide The Outcome When Chelsea Collide Against Arsenal

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

It is almost time for the London derby, Antonio Conte’s first ever trip to noisy neighbours Arsenal. The Italian saw his side brushed aside by Liverpool last weekend but they came back to winning ways in the midweek thanks to a late added time brace from out of favour midfielder Cesc Fabregas. With the 4-2 win against Premier League holders Leicester City in the midweek, Chelsea will be travelling to the Emirates will good confidence. Arsenal are yet to lose this season since the 4-3 drama against Liverpool on the opening day and will be looking to see off their bitter rivals.

Granit Xhaka Vs Nemanja Matic

Arsenal’s marquee signing this summer, Granit Xhaka, made the headlines with two stunning thunderbolts in the past two games and is likely to start in midfield against Chelsea. The Swiss international has been slowly but wisely introduced to the Premier League by Wenger and tomorrow should be his big test as he starts in the middle of the park for the Gunners. Matic has been used in a box to box role by Conte this season and has fared pretty well so far already contributing two assists. He is a big presence in midfield with his physique and we have to wait and see if Xhaka can overcome that.

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 07: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – AUGUST 07: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

Laurent Koscielny Vs Diego Costa

Costa has been very impressive this season having scored five goals in five games already. The Spanish international is a nuisance in big games not only with his scoring ability but also with his never say never attitude.

The Spaniard was involved in a mishap with Koscielny last season which saw Gabriel Paulista sent off. The key man in Arsenal defence Koscielny has to be at his very best to deal with the threat posed by the in-form striker.

Olivier Giroud vs Gary Cahill

Giroud is yet to start in the Premier League this season and open his account. However, the Frenchman is a big game player and Wenger will surely be tempted to use him in such a big match. Chelsea are likely to miss their key defender John Terry against Arsenal and will be on the backfoot.

Gary Cahill has not been at his best so far this season but he will have to come up with a much better display if Chelsea hope for a positive result. Giroud is a major threat with his aerial ability and Cahill, with his 4.2 aerials won this season can nullify the threat posed by the French international.

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