Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Chelsea
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, January 24 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Arsenal 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 5/2
The latest Arsenal vs. Chelsea clash takes place at The Emirates on Sunday afternoon in a game that will see Guus Hiddink face off against Arsene Wenger in this fixture once again, after last meeting seven years ago.
It’s the Gunners who come into this one as favourites as they sit top of the Premier League after 22 games, 13 places and 19 points better off than the Blues.
Arsene Wenger knows his side have their best shot at winning the Premier League in a decade and will want to beat reigning champions Chelsea to reaffirm those hopes after drawing their last two league games at Liverpool and Stoke.Embed from Getty Images
Wenger has not beaten Chelsea in the Premier League since 2011 and knows this is a really important game for both him, and the Arsenal supporters.
He will reignite his rivalry with Guus Hiddink here. The interim Chelsea boss beat Arsenal in both the FA Cup and Premier League when he was previously in charge in 2009.
He has improved Chelsea’s fortunes since replacing Jose Mourinho before Christmas, with the Blues unbeaten in six league games now (W2 D4).
Back-to-back draws with West Brom and Everton will go down as disappointing results but preventing losses has to go down as a positive in what has been a disastrous season.
The Blues’s hopes of making the top four look to be all but over but they will be desperate to take points off Arsenal on Sunday and that should ensure it is another feisty clash.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea won the reverse fixture 2-0 in September in a game remembered for Diego Costa’s antics that saw Gabriel Paulista sent off at the end of the first half. Costa can expect a hostile reception from Arsenal fans here as a result.
Arsenal look set to welcome Alexis Sanchez back to the squad in what is a huge boost for Arsene Wenger. He might have to come off the bench as he works towards match fitness again, while Francis Coquelin is also close to making a full return. However, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere remain out.
Chelsea are set to welcome back a star player of their own as Eden Hazard looks set to return after a three-week absence, while Diego Costa is also set to start, despite being listed as doubtful. Radamel Falcao is the only certain absentee as he remains injured.
Arsenal’s last five: L/W/W/D/D
Chelsea’s last five: D/D/W/D/D
Key Stat: Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea at The Emirates in the Premier League since 2010. The Blues are now unbeaten in eight league games against the Gunners.
Key Player: Mesut Ozil – The German playmaker has been Arsenal’s best player this season. He missed the game at Stoke last weekend but will return here and will look to lead his side to victory.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea – This should be another cagey affair between these two London rivals. Chelsea might be 13 places lower than the Gunners in the Premier League, but will look to continue their fine record against their rivals by earning at least a point. The pressure is on Arsenal to go out and win the game and that might play into Chelsea’s hands.