Chelsea vs. Arsenal – Premier League preview
Kings of London “derby” – Defence, midfield, attack analysis
Spurs are the enemy, but Chelsea and Arsenal are two global clubs. Tottenham, hence their new and comically overdue and over-budget ground, are a wannabe global player.
But we and Chelsea certainly are. We both hold a global name, noted players and managers, and have in various ways shaped the PL era. Though we did so via success and style – they did by just having money and parking multiple buses….
In a way, this game is like a “Kings of London” derby, largely due to the aforementioned points. Champions League or not, Chelsea is not the footballing institution of Arsenal. We don’t have just success, but a culture and achievement Chelsea cannot match. Any great club is more than just winning trophies and money – we have both, and a lot more.
That said, if we’re to get a result at their place, there are some points we need to note:
Kante, a recent World Cup winner, is arguably the best of his position in the world right now. He’s not a ball-winner alone. He also is a provider to more creative players, and can shoot and score on occasion. Jorginho is also a threat, and this is another thing to cope with and handle.
For this reason alone, we need to play a strong midfield balance.
I like Xhaka, and there is truth in him not being utilised properly as a deep-lying playmaker. However, I would not play him here. He was poor vs. City, but it’s not for this reason. I would play Guendouzi, since I feel he did very well last week. Guendouzi is not at Kante’s level, granted. But then he brings a balance between passing, pressing, and tackling, which we need to combat Chelsea’s midfield.
Torreira must start also. He cannot use the excuse (nor Emery) of being tired. The World Cup ended weeks ago. And Kante started for Chelsea and bar a very late injury, will start vs. us. And he won the WC – literally playing until the very end of the tournament. Like Guendouzi, Torreira will provide the balance between combativeness and creativity, which is key to winning the midfield battle.
Sokratis and Mustafi looked strong vs. City, and the goals weren’t their fault entirely. They did keep Kun Ageuro quiet, and made some good challenges.
Pressing vs. Willian and Hazard is primary, as they will look to run in behind and in front of the defence.
Morata is not capable, but our old boy Giroud could be a threat.
If our pressing game is to evolve, keeping Hazard and Willian quiet, as well as Giroud and Morata is imperative.
If we can get the defence and midfield right, then PEA, Lacazette, and Ozil can tackle their defence. They have a strong defence overall, though their goalkeeper is expensive and untested in English football.
Moreover, they haven’t strengthened much defensively, and our pace can threaten them.
I believe we can get a result here, though stifling their midfield and attack is important.
Whilst from last season, and under Wenger, these are templates of how to play and get results there. And many of the players at the least, even if Conte and Wenger have gone, are the same. A defeat would not be the end of the world. But then getting a good result can bring confidence, and help endear Emery to the fans. I believe he needs a season or so to embed his style. But a draw at Chelsea last season, albeit in a different era, provided some respite, and it can again here.
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
MarbleHallsTV is an Arsenal social media account on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Been a Gooner since the 90s, inspired by Ian Wright, then Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Campbell, Rosicky, Koscielny, Ozil and Sanchez. A digital marketer/entrpreneur by profession, born in UK living in the Americas now.