Arsenal legend reveals why Chelsea will NOT beat his former side

Arsenal host Chelsea in the standout fixture in the Premier League this weekend and if they lose Jose Mourinho’s side will be just three points away from securing the title. But former Arsenal star, Paul Merson, believes Diego Costa’s absence will stop Chelsea beating the Gunners at the Emirates on Sunday.

Chelsea have somewhat struggled offensively without their Spanish goal-machine, who has bagged an impressive 19 Premier League goals in his debut campaign, and he will miss this weekend’s game through injury again.

The West London side have scored just twice since Costa’s latest hamstring problem forced him off in their 2-1 win over Southampton earlier this month.

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Since his omission from the side they have won two out of two, producing strong defensive displays to win 1-0 against both Queens Park Rangers and Manchester United, but looked lacklustre in front of goal in both games.

Mourinho has set his sides out to be very astute defensively but Paul Merson believes Chelsea will not have what it takes to beat Arsenal at the Emirates, according to The Express.

“If Costa’s fit it’s a different game, but if he’s not fit I can’t see any goals,” the former Arsenal man said.

“Last week, Chelsea had 30 per cent of the play at home but Man Utd never looked like scoring.”

Merson expects another defensive display from Chelsea as they look to extend their unbeaten run in the league and take another huge step towards the title.

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“I think Mourinho will go there, make sure they don’t lose, and that will be it.”

Eden Hazard’s strike against United was enough to secure all three points for Chelsea last weekend and he will be the main goal threat once again on Sunday.

Loic Remy remains sidelined and Didier Drogba is facing a late fitness test due to an ankle problem, so Chelsea could actually start without a recognised forward.

Will Chelsea’s lack of attacking options cost them the game against Arsenal on Sunday?

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Chelsea on alert to bolster attack with £22m rated striker

Jose Mourinho has struggled with his attacking options at stages this season, and recent injuries to Diego Costa and Loic Remy have left Chelsea looking rather weak up top as Didier Drogba is not the player he used to be and is having to settle for cameo roles.

Chelsea’s lack of depth in their forward department has fuelled speculation that Mourinho will bolster his options and £22 million-rated Inter Milan striker, Mauro Icardi, could be on the move to the London club, according to the Metro.

Icardi has netted 16 Serie A goals in 28 appearances this season for the Nerazzurri and the Italian club are reportedly already on the look out for his replacement, with Mario Gomez and Edin Dzeko two players linked.

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Chelsea could well delve into the transfer market for two strikers this summer as Didier Drogba will turn 38 next season and hasn’t scored in his last 23 appearances. His contract is up at the end of the current campaign and it is still unclear what is next for him.

Diego Costa is currently sidelined with his recurring hamstring issue and despite scoring 20 goals this season, 19 have been in the Premier League, and his lack of goals in the Champions League ultimately cost the Blues in Europe.

Loic Remy has netted seven goals in 26 appearances but missed out in the weekend’s win over his former club Queens Park Rangers through injury.

Chelsea have failed to maintain their scintillating form they showed at the start of the season but they have that early season run to thank for still being ahead in the race for the title.

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Icardi could be a key player at Chelsea next season, not only for giving Mourinho an extra option, but also helping to keep his other strikers on their toes in the form of healthy competition.

Manchester United have also been linked with a move for Icardi and the young forward could be the subject of a fierce transfer battle between some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer.

Would Mauro Icardi be a good signing for Chelsea?

Chelsea to beat West Ham to £100,000-a-week Spurs star – report

Chelsea are reportedly lining up a summer move for Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who is out of favour at White Hart Lane, with West Ham also interested.

The 31 year old has only made 12 Premier League appearances this season, scoring twice, and has not started a league game under Mauricio Pochettino since the away victory at Aston Villa in early November.

Spurs were willing to let the former Arsenal and Manchester City man leave on loan in January but chairman Daniel Levy blocked a move to West Ham, and now Chelsea are eying up an approach.

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Jose Mourinho wants Adebayor to join Chelsea as Didier Drogba’s replacement this summer, according to the Daily Express, with the Ivorian Blues legend expected to leave at the end of his one-year contract.

Adebayor’s £100,000-per-week wages have proved to be a stumbling block for several other clubs but Chelsea would be able to afford those, while Adebayor would likely be keen as he wants to remain in London.

With one year left on his Spurs deal, Adebayor could be picked up for a small transfer fee, and the North London outfit are hoping to get the Togo international off the wage bill at the end of the season.

Mourinho worked with Adebayor while at Real Madrid in 2011 and the powerful forward netted eight goals in 22 games during that six-month loan deal.

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He would have to accept that he would only be backup to Loic Remy and Diego Costa at Chelsea but the chance to win more trophies at another big Premier League club would probably be enough to convince Adebayor to make the move across London.

West Ham are believed to still be interested in the Spurs man but Chelsea would likely be a more attractive option for Adebayor.

Would Emmanuel Adebayor be a good signing for Chelsea? Should the Blues look elsewhere?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Everton

Chelsea vs. Everton – Premier League

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Wednesday, February 11th – 19:45

Match Odds: Chelsea 1/3 – Draw 15/4 – Everton 9/1

Chelsea entertain Everton on Wednesday night as they attempt to maintain their title ambitions and fend off Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

The Blues are boosted by the return of Cesc Fabregas but goal machine Diego Costa is still ruled out, serving the last of his three-match ban.

The return fixture between Chelsea and Everton earlier this season was rammed with action, as the game ended with a 6-3 win for Chelsea, but we can expect both sides to be tighter at the back this time around.

Chelsea’s home record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 10 – Drew 1 – Lost 0

Jose Mourinho’s side have kept Stamford Bridge a fortress in the league all season and that form, as we have said before, is the difference between the league leaders and Manchester City.

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Chelsea will be keeping one eye on City’s tough tie away at Stoke, and the chasers cannot afford to let the Blues extend their lead at the top of the table any further.

Everton’s away record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drew 3 – Lost 6 

The Toffees have really struggled on the road this season and it would be a major boost to get their season back on track in the push for European football if they can get a result in West London.

Romelu Lukaku will be relishing the chance to face his former side at Stamford Bridge, where he barely had a sniff as a Chelsea player, and the Belgian striker will be keen to show the Chelsea faithful how dangerous he can be.

Much has been made of the comparison between Lukaku and Didier Drogba, as he had been labelled as his long-term replacement, but as we know Drogba is now back with the club and Lukaku has moved on.

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Drogba failed to make much of an impact against Aston Villa on Saturday and we could see Loic Remy get the nod up top once again as he scored in Chelsea’s last home game against City.

Juan Cuadrado is in line for a home debut but Mourinho, who has been so pleased with his wingers this season, will more than likely opt to go with Eden Hazard and Willian in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

Everton could also give a full debut to a winger of their own as Aaron Lennon will be pushing for a start while Leighton Baines is expected to return after missing the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/W/D/W

Everton’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/W/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – Chelsea still remain unbeaten in the league at home this season and Everton face a tough task to break the trend.

Key Player:  Eden Hazard – scoring again last weekend to get Chelsea going in the absence of Costa, the Belgian will be at the forefront of everything for the Blues.

Score Prediction: Chelsea 2–0 Everton – The hosts to prove too strong for the Toffees.

Drogba leaves Galatasaray and could make the move to MLS

Didier Drogba has confirmed that he is leaving Turkish club Galatasaray when his contract expires this summer, but could he now be the next international star to join Major League Soccer?

The former Chelsea star has confirmed that he is moving on from Galatasaray, speaking on their official TV channel:

“Galatasaray will always be in my heart, I’m very proud to have represented this team. I didn’t come here for money. If I wanted money I would have stayed in China. I came to Turkey to play football, to feel the passion again. Scoring against Fenerbahce and Besiktas, I think I gave some happiness to our fans.”

The 36-year-old is ready for a new challenge, and is thought to want to continue his playing career for at least another season.

He will be focusing on the World Cup with the Ivory Coast now, but his services will certainly be in-demand across the globe come July.

Reports have suggested that he could return to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea, linking up with Jose Mourinho once again as a player-coach with the Blues.

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(Photo: ‘The Drog’ has been linked with a move back to Chelsea with Jose Mourinho)

Though it remains unclear as to where Drogba want his next move to be, and he could welcome a new challenge before he ends his illustrious playing career.

The Ivorian has already been linked with a move to MLS earlier this year, with New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders both thought to be interested in securing his services.

He still has plenty to offer, despite his age, and scored 14 goals in 36 appearances for Galatasaray this season, including two in the UEFA Champions League.

It is believed that he could retain his £100,000 per-week salary with a move to MLS and that could be a factor in his decision.

The Red Bulls could make the move for Drogba, as they still have one designated player spot remaining, and Thierry Henry’s contract is up at the end of the season.

He would undoubtedly be a sensation in the US, and even at the age of 36 would be able to score endless amounts of goals with his ability.

There have already been photoshopped images of Drogba in a MLS shirt on social networks, with this tweet by ‘Le Footeur’ showing the striker in a Montreal Impact jersey.

https://twitter.com/lefooteur/status/468182651548221440

 

Where do you think Drogba will end up next?