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A role reversal

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The London Derby is one of the most commonly used phrases in English football to describe fixtures because of the sheer number of clubs from London. However, not many games provide the spice and excitement of Arsenal vs Chelsea, since it is a fixture that provides historic, as well as competitive rivalry.

Since Roman Abramovich arrived all guns blazing at Chelsea, and with the eventual arrival of Jose Mourinho, in particular, Arsenal have been the club who have perenially been on the back foot in this London Derby.

However, the current reality couldn’t be further from that scenario. Mikel Arteta has Arsenal flying, proving last season was no fluke, while Pochettino is only now showing signs of a mini-revival after an abysmal start to the season.

Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as Arsenal go into the game with the expectation of a win, not hope!

Chelsea vs Arsenal preview

If a Chelsea fan was asked about their feelings going into this game at the end of Matchday six, there would have been a mixture of dread and pessimism in their response. However, something has clicked in the last two games for The Blues.

A confidence-inducing 0-2 win at Fulham kickstarted their season and they leveraged that momentum to navigate a tricky away game against Burnley with a good performance.

With the Stamford Bridge firmly behind them now, they welcome Arsenal at the best possible time for them. But it won’t be easy.

That’s because Arsenal, along with another London team, Tottenham, remain the only two unbeaten teams in the league. They are joint-top of the league and have the stingiest defence.

William Saliba stole the show vs Haaland as the Gunners announced their arrival as a bonafide title threat by finally winning against Manchester City last time out. Win this, and they won’t be just title contenders, they’ll be the favourites.

Chelsea vs Arsenal predicted lineups

Chelsea team news

The international break might not have come at the best time for Chelsea momentum-wise, but to clear up their injury slate, it has pretty much made them the winners of the break.

Heading into the break with a long line outside of the physio room, a big chunk of cavalry could return for this game.

This includes captain Reece James, who is so much more for the Blues than just being their leader. His return will be the biggest boost.

He will be joined by Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi, Cole Palmer, Benoit Badiashile, and maybe Armando Broja. Malo Gusto will return from his suspension to further strengthen the right-back spot.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Sanchez, Gusto, Silva, Disasi, Colvill, Caicedo, Gallagher, Fernandez, Sterling, Mudryk, Jackson

Arsenal team news

Mikel Arteta will be relieved to call upon the services of William Saliba and Bukayo Saka after minor issues prevented them from making their international teams. Both key players took the 14-day break to rest and recuperate from their issues and will be fit to face Chelsea.

Leandro Trossard might make his return from a hamstring injury further adding to the Gunners’ options in attack.

Jurrien Timber remains a long-term absentee with an ACL injury.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Partey, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Chelsea vs Arsenal prediction

For a long time, Arsenal went to Stamford Bridge dreading an embarrassing scoreline. The 1000th game for Arsene Wenger is a particularly painful memory for Arsenal fans, when they lost 6-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

However, as said above, things have changed. The flaky and frail Arsenal have been transformed by Arteta and they go into this game as favourites despite Chelsea’s mini-revival.

If Arsenal don’t concede early and let Chelsea smell a potential win, they should win this game. Quietening Stamford Bridge with a composed performance at the beginning will be crucial to their chances.

For Chelsea, it’s just about starting fast, leveraging home support, and land an early blow to manage the game from there.

FootTheBall predicts Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal.

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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