Arsenal are hoping to get back to winning ways as they take on Chelsea at home on Sunday. Their manager Mikel Arteta will be under the microscope following very little improvement in the team despite significant investment across the squad. Similarly, a win could play a vital role in lifting the confidence in the camp as the Gunners look to restore their status as a top-six team in England this season.
On the other hand, Chelsea kick-started their campaign with a dominant 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. The reigning European champions are eyeing the Premier League title this season, with a strengthened squad that will look to tear apart the vulnerable Arsenal this weekend.
Arsenal Vs Chelsea Tactical Preview
Arsenal lacked any ideas going forward in their opening game against Brentford. This Chelsea game, though, will give Arteta the opportunity to embrace a more defensive approach, one catered towards the counter-attacking style of play. It won’t be surprising to see the Gunners playing the ball out from the back in order to force the opposition to commit more men in the first line of press while using their attackers as runners in behind the backline.
Chelsea won’t mind going all out in press as Thomas Tuchel’s tactical setup does require a lot of athleticism from the centre forward. While the Blues may dominate possession, they could be particularly deadly in transition, meaning Arsenal simply cannot afford to lose possession in dangerous areas of the pitch.
Since the defeat to Brentford, Arsenal have brought in Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale. Neither of the players are expected to feature on Sunday, thus joining Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah in the club’s list of absentees. Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not start either after being dealt with Covid-19 scares this week, but there could be a return for Bukayo Saka in the starting eleven.
Predicted Lineup: Leno; White, Mari, Tierney; Bellerin, Lokonga, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Martinelli, Smith Rowe
Christian Pulisic has recently confirmed on social media that he has tested positive for Covid-19. He remains out, but there is a chance that both N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech may return to the squad. Romelu Lukaku, too, is in contention for his first start after completing his return to Stamford Bridge this month. He should spearhead the Blues attack this weekend.
Predicted Lineup: Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Lukaku
Bukayo Saka is undisputedly the most important player for Arsenal heading into this encounter. The Englishman was not particularly match-fit in the game against Brentford but he will be keen on impacting this crucial game at Emirates. His pace, technical prowess and dribbling ability gives the Gunners the additional edge going forward and it could be useful especially in counter-attacking situations.
For Chelsea, the spotlight will understandably be on Lukaku. The Belgian international has returned to Stamford Bridge for a hefty price, hoping to solve the club’s problems in the goalscoring department. Lukaku hadn’t featured in the first game but he will be raring to go, with Arsenal appearing as an ideal opponent for him to announce his return to the Premier League.