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Reversed fortunes collide

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Arsenal vs Chelsea preview

It’s the collision of teams trending in different directions as hapless Chelsea travel to their London rivals nursing the headache of a bottled title race in Arsenal.

Chelsea are on an unenviable skid, losing three on the trot, and four out of last five in the Premier League. Sitting 12th, the only thing saving them from a genuine relegation battle is the worse form of those below them.

Arsenal, on the other hand, have seen their title challenge go off the rails in recent weeks. The Gunners have won only one of their last five. This poor run of form has seen them relinquish the pole position to rampant Manchester City. The Cityzens now have their title destiny in their own hands.

Both teams are struggling for form at the moment and a draw would do neither team any favours. Therefore, it should be a cracking game with both sides going for the win at all costs in an effort to inject life into their faltering season.

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Chelsea

Arsenal don’t have many injury problems but the ones they do have completely derailed their form. William Saliba’s potentially season-ending issue has seen them leak goals while Tomiyasu’s solid presence has been missed too. Both remain out of for the foreseeable future.

Besides them, Mohamed Elneny is another long-term absentee.

In Saliba’s absence, Rob Holding and Gabriel should continue their partnership in the middle of the defence, flanked by Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Holding, particularly, impressed with his goal against Manchester City last game.

The midfield and attack pick themselves barring any sudden injury problems. One possible change could be the introduction of Leandro Trossard to the starting lineup ahead of Gabriel Martinelli.

Predicted Arsenal lineup: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Chelsea predicted lineup vs Arsenal

While Arsenal’s team derailed due to a single injury to Saliba, Chelsea’s season has been in free flow due to the sheer number of players available and wanting to play.

Frank Lampard’s coaching staff has been juggling things around to find the perfect combination to no avail so far. Their injury issues are plenty but should ease up a bit for the trip to Arsenal.

Kai Havertz should make his return from a knee injury to take his place in the starting XI. Marc Cucurella’s forgettable campaign took a turn for the worse when he got injured before the Brentford game. He will miss this one. Academy graduates Reece James and Mason Mount are also long-term absentees.

Thiago Silva has been ever-present this season and should continue as centre-back, marshalling the defence with young proteges Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile. There is continuity in midfield with the selection of Kovacic, Kante, and Enzo.

Fullbacks pick themselves for crucial games as Azpilicueta’s experience and defensive nous should help him get the nod over Noni Madueke as the right wing-back. The same goes for Chilwell on the other side in Cucurella’s absence.

In attack, Joao Felix should return to the starting lineup after an appearance off the bench against Brentford. He joins Kai Havertz in his return from injury.

Predicted Chelsea lineup: Kepa, Fofana, Silva, Badishile, Azpilicueta, Enzo Fernandez, Kovacic, Chilwell, Kante, Felix, Havertz

Arsenal vs Chelsea prediction

Both teams are hurting. While Arsenal have seen a golden opportunity to make history slip through their hands, Chelsea’s season has been a running nightmare throughout.

Mikel Arteta’s team have looked shot mentally as the title race reaches its end but buoyed by the home support, they should have more than enough to pile on Chelsea’s misery.

Expect Arsenal to bounce back from a miserable 4-1 defeat to Manchester City with a good result and performance to back it up against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard’s worries show no signs of abating, with fixtures against Man City, Man United and Newcastle still to come.

FootTheBall predicts Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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