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Preview: Chelsea V Arsenal

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Chelsea host Arsenal in the first of Sunday's Premier League fixtures, knowing that a win could heap more pressure on Arsene Wenger’s shoulders in a must-win game for the Gunners. 

Despite getting off to a great start in the Europa League on Thursday, securing a 3-1 win over FC Koln, Arsenal’s league form has been somewhat lacklustre as they currently lie in 13th in the league standings, but it is still early days.

This game will mark the first in 21 years that Arsenal will have to cope with the added pressure of recuperating after a Thursday game, something which is much different than the normal Tuesday/Wednesday to Saturday structure that they were used to under the Champions League format.

Interestingly, in their last 13 visits to teams who finished inside the top six last season, Arsenal have failed to pick up a victory with their last win coming against Manchester City in 2015.

Chelsea suffered an opening day defeat against Burnley but have bounced back to win their last three games in the league, as well kicking off their Champions League campaign with an emphatic 6-0 win over FK Qarabag.

The Blues haven’t lost their last five home games against The Gunners in the league. However, on the last two occasions that the sides have met, Arsenal have come out victorious.

In the three games between the sides last season, Arsenal came out on top, having beaten Chelsea once in the league and in the FA Cup Final.

Team News

Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater was an unused substitute against his former club Leicester City and he is scheduled to be out for four weeks with a calf problem.

Antonio Conte is set to make rotational changes to his side, having rested a few players in their game against FK Qarabag. Eden Hazard looks set to start his first league game of the season.

Wenger made nine alterations for the Europa League win over Cologne but the likes of Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette will all return to the squad at Stamford Bridge.

Francis Coquelin is out with a hamstring problem and Santi Cazorla is ruled out with an ankle injury.

Opta Stats

Arsenal have lost their last five away Premier League games versus Chelsea, their joint-longest away losing run in the competition against a single opponent. Furthermore, the Gunners have not kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in their last 12 visits.

Chelsea has scored in 23 successive Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, in over half of these (12) Chelsea have scored three or more goals. 

Image Credit - Flickr Commons, Ronnie Macdonald, Nazionale Calcio

 

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