Arsenal vs. Chelsea PreviewBy: Lachlan | September 28th, 2012
So once again we find ourselves playing an important match in the league, and one where we can really show what we are made of. After having played the reigning champions last week, we find ourselves playing the other money bags team in the league, and what better time than now to show what we are made of. In this game last season it was the first time we showed everyone that we were a team capable of actually competing, and was our first really good result after our thrashing at the hands of United.
So on to the preview.
Who: Chelsea F.C. est. 1905 (W-D-W-W-W)
What: Premier League Home Match
When: 29th September, 12:45PM Local Time
Where: Emirates Stadium (60,361)
How: Fox Sports 1/Sky Sports 2
After a season in which Chelsea were quite terrible yet still managed to bring home two trophies, things haven’t been going quite the same for them this year in the league. Currently, Chelsea sit on the top of the table having brought home 13 points out of a possible 15, having only dropped points in a match against QPR. I have read and listened to a lot of people who think Chelsea are the team to beat this season. I personally think that it is unlikely that they will be that much better this year. Last season they were leagues behind the Manchester clubs, and I have talked before about how I think United will be much stronger this year (although losing Vidic again makes me rethink my certainty). Their season has really told two tales though I think.
I’m not sure how many of you would have watched the match, but I watched Chelsea play Athletico Madrid a few weeks ago in Monaco, and it was one of the most enjoyable things I have experienced in quite a while. Chelsea’s defence is still as comical as it was this time 12 months ago. They were split open time and time again, and they were very lucky to only concede 4. In the Champions League they played well in attack against Juventus, only for defence to once again force them to concede two late goals.
In the league so far, they have had a very easy run. Home wins against Reading, Newcastle and Stoke have been complemented by a win and draw away against Wigan and QPR respectively. They have only conceded 2 goals so far this season, and both were against Reading. That gives them the exact same goal stats as us this season, 9 for, 2 against.
Chelsea have scored no more than 1 goal in 14 of their last 20 away matches, and conceded no more than 1 goal in 15 of those matches.
So, much like Chelsea, we are still without a loss for this season. We have been in fine form and the team would be full of confidence after such a strong few games. In the last 3 matches we have played, we have scored 9 goals and conceded only 2, and the team looks like they are really starting to figure each other out. As far as team news goes Sagna is back training, Wilshere and Frimpong are verging on match fitness and Rosicky is not too far away. We almost have a full squad again! It can’t last.. Diaby must have an injury ready in the chamber surely.
As far as who should play today? I am personally feeling that Ramsey should slot into the midfield trio with Arteta and Cazorla. He has been playing pretty well so far this season, and I think this match is perfect for him. As far as the back four goes, I’m not quite sure. I think it should really be Mertesacker and Vermaelen. I think Koscielny is the better man for the job, but the captain’s influence might be of some value today. I would also love to see Giroud start, but I think a false 9 is more likely.
Whilst there are things that I would do, there are also those that Wenger would do.
This would be my best guess at a lineup:
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
Diaby – - – - – - Arteta
Ramsey – - – - – - – - – - – Podolski
Bench: Martinez, Koscielny, Santos, Gervinho, AOC, Walcott, Giroud
I’m pretty sure Perry will have a blog up for the match tonight, and I’m pretty sure he is planning to do the review as well.
The betting agencies seem to mostly list us as favourites, which I would very much agree with, but that doesn’t really give me any extra confidence. What is everyone’s prediction?