Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, September 24 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 13/10 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 19/10

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome their London rivals Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening in the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend.

Arsenal seem to have got over their slow start in their opening two games and have now won three league games on the bounce.

The Gunners come into this one level on points with Chelsea, but are ahead in table on goal difference, they will be keen to continue their winning run here.

Arsenal advanced in the EFL Cup in midweek with a convincing win 4-0 win and they won 4-1 against Hull last weekend, so confidence is high among Arsene Wenger’s men.

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Chelsea bounced back from their defeat against Liverpool last weekend with a 4-2 over Leicester in the EFL Cup in midweek.

It looked like Antonio Conte’s side were going to lose their second on the bounce before really turning on the style in midweek, with practically every attack coming through Cesc Fabregas.

Chelsea haven’t won in two in the league and, like Arsenal, are already five points off the top. This is a must win game for both sides.

The Blues haven’t lost in their last nine Premier League games against Arsenal and haven’t even conceded in the last six of those. This is going to be a tough tie and that run of clean sheets against their rivals looks likely to come to an end here considering how easily their defence has been breached this season.

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Team News

Arsenal’s season is already being troubled by injuries, an all too familiar story for their fans. Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson, and Gabriel Paulista are all expected to miss out here.

Chelsea are still expecting to be without Kurt Zouma, while there is still no word on a return date for captain John Terry.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: L/D/W/W/W

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: Chelsea haven’t conceded a goal against Arsenal in the last six Premier League meetings between the sides.

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Chelsea forward has already bagged five goals this season. He has previous with Arsenal and isn’t popular among their fans. He is Chelsea’s best chance of coming away with all three points in this one.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea – Arsenal to bring their winless and goalless run against Chelsea to an end here. The Gunners are in fine form now, while Chelsea are still struggling defensively. Like the majority of games from this fixture down the years, we can expect action and controversy all the while Diego Costa is on the field.

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Did Cech make an impact in his first Premier League season at Arsenal?

Petr Cech is undoubtedly one of the finest goalkeepers to grace the game. The Czech Republic international already boasts the record for all-time Premier League clean sheets and has just swooped the golden glove for the 2015/16 season. Lewis Addley investigates how much of an impact the former Chelsea man has made at Arsenal…

Arsenal fans were filled with euphoria when the news broke that they had signed Petr Cech from London rivals Chelsea ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season. Cech kept 162 clean sheets in 333 games in his 11 Premier League seasons at Chelsea – an average of 0.48 per game, almost one clean sheet every two games.

Now first choice at Arsenal, Cech kept 16 clean sheets in his 34 appearances in his league debut season, enough to win him the golden glove and record an average of 0.47 per game, again very close to one clean sheet in every two appearances. With these stats in mind it is evident of the presence and consistency Cech brings to a side regardless of the defence in front of him.

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Arsenal finished the 2015/16 Premier League runners-up, one place better off than their 2014/15 finish of 3rd. So lets have a look at how their league performances differ between the two seasons.

Arsenal season comparison

Arsenal’s 14/15 and 15/16 Premier League seasons compared

Arsenal won more games, drew less, scored more goals, had a better goal difference and tallied more points in the 14/15 Premier League season but finished third. It is worth mentioning that a direct comparison won’t give completely accurate readings on position in the table as no two Premier League campaigns are the same.

In the 15/16 season Arsenal drew more games, lost the same amount, scored less, conceded the same number, had a worse goal difference and tallied less points. But with all these statistics compared, the one factor which matters most is the final position of the club come the end of the season. So in Cech’s first season at the club, Arsenal finished higher in the table.

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Here’s how Cech shapes up against Arsenal’s goalkeepers from 14/15 and his teammate David Ospina who featured four times in 15/16 in his absence.

Arsenal 'keepers compared

Arsenal Premier League ‘keepers stats 14/15 and 15/16 compared 

In the 2014/15 campaign Arsenal used three goalkeepers, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez. The three made 39 appearances between them (*note one game more than regulation due to substitution meaning two ‘keepers featuring in one game).

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The key statistic to look at in the comparison is clean sheets. In the 15/16 campaign Cech made more clean sheets alone than the ‘keepers in 14/15, more saves, more saves-per-goal and more punches, all of which came in four appearances less.

Now it does have to be mentioned if Cech had played all 38 games he could have conceded four more goals at his rate of 1.09 goals conceded per game – but by this rule of average he would have conceded 35, still one less than the Arsenal ‘keepers of 14/15.

Cech and Ospina combined in 15/16 bettered the three ‘keepers of 14/15 in every department apart from catches. This arguably shows the positive impact Cech made on his teammates and provides further statistics of the impact he made in his first Premier League season with the Gunners.

While Cech and his teammates were unsuccessful in delivering silverware this campaign compared to Arsenal’s previous two seasons, he looks set to be part of the squad in the long-term and his experience of consistently winning trophies can surely only have a positive impact on the club.

Has Cech made a positive impact for Arsenal? Could he be key to Arsenal winning the Premier League?

STATS: Was Jose Mourinho wrong to let these seven players leave Chelsea?

Chelsea‘s form has been a huge topic of conversation after each game so far this season for one reason or another, mostly down to below-par performances.

Key players are failing to provide quality in the same way they did last season, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa the subjects of heavy criticism.

Jose Mourinho has let some big names leave the club since his return in 2013, some of whom are enjoying great form in their domestic seasons with other clubs.

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With Chelsea under such pressure at current, it’s difficult not to ask whether some of those names should have been let go, so we took a look at some of those players’ statistics this season.

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 Former Chelsea players’ domestic league stats for the 2015/16 season (via Squawka)

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Petr Cech’s domestic league stats for 2015/16 as a goalkeeper (via Squawka)

Petr Cech comes out on top in terms of win percentage with an impressive 66.6% in the Premier League with Arsenal, which is 41.6% better than Chelsea’s overall win percentage of 25% in the top flight.

Romelu Lukaku, now at Everton, has bagged seven league goals so far this season. Chelsea’s highest individual goalscorer only has two (Diego Costa, Ramires and Willian).

The highest number of assists from those who have departed have come from Lukaku and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne on four. Cesc Fabregas, arguably Chelsea’s most creative player, has just one league assist after 12 games.

And perhaps most staggering is the fact that the highest number of losses suffered domestically out of the seven players is only three, four less than Chelsea’s worrying total of seven so far.

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While we are not suggesting Mourinho’s transfer policy is wrong, it is clear that his squad is lacking in creativity and goals this season. What we must not forget is that out of these seven players only Petr Cech and Andre Schurrle (departed January 2015) were in the Chelsea squad who won the Premier League last season.

But Chelsea fans would be forgiven for looking at the names in the table above and wishing they could bring them back to Stamford Bridge to try and turn the Blues’ campaign around.

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: United £45m DONE DEAL, Liverpool star exit looming?

Daily transfer roundup (Friday, July 10)

MLS Rumours

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is still hoping for a move to Major League Soccer after turning down the chance to stay in Europe with FC Porto. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours

Manchester United‘s Angel Di Maria has reportedly agreed a deal in principle to leave the club for Paris Saint Germain in a £45 million deal. (REPORT)

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Manchester City are set to make a third bid for Liverpool‘s Raheem Sterling. City have already had two offers for the Englishman declined. (REPORT)

Arsenal‘s David Ospina is considering a move to Everton. The Colombian is uncertain of his future at the club since the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Crystal Palace have announced the signing of former Newcastle United star Yohan Cabaye. The Paris Saint Germain man will join for a club record fee of £10 million. (REPORT)

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: United’s DONE DEAL, Liverpool target Madrid man

Daily transfer roundup (Friday, June19)

MLS Rumours

Manchester City‘s Samir Nasri has reiterated his desire to play in Major League Soccer but for the meantime he is focused on regaining the Premier League title. (REPORT)

Franz Beckenbauer has urged Manchester United target, Bastian Schweinsteiger to ignore their interest as he would be better suited to a MLS move in the near future. (REPORT)

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Premier League Rumours

Manchester United have agreed a £13.1m fee for Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino and are negotiating personal terms for the highly sought after 23-year-old Brazilian. (REPORT)

Liverpool are closing in on a £15m move for out of favour Real Madrid man, Asier Illarramendi. The midfielder has had minimal playing time since joining the Spanish giants. (REPORT)

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Arsenal are close to signing Petr Cech after agreeing terms with the 33-year-old ‘keeper who wanted assurances that he would be Arsene Wenger‘s number one. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of Burnley‘s Kieran Trippier on a five-year deal. (REPORT)

Derby County have signed West Bromwich Albion midfielder Chris Baird on a two-year deal. (REPORT)

Gael Kakuta has left Chelsea for Sevilla on a free transfer after his contract expired. The Frenchman played just 16 times for the club and had six different loan spells. (REPORT)

 

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Chelsea AGREE deal for United reject, Arsenal ‘on brink’ of £11m transfer

Daily transfer roundup (Monday, June 15)

MLS Rumours

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski looks set to turn his back on a reported MLS move to join Turkish giants Galatasaray in a £1.4 million deal. (REPORT)

New York Red Bulls-linked winger James McClean is close to agreeing a £1.5 million move to West Brom. (REPORT)

Shaun Wright-Phillips is training with the New York Red Bulls this week, though only for fitness as a move is not being suggested yet. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours

Chelsea have agreed a deal with French club AS Monaco for the signing of Radamel Falcao, who spent the last season on loan at Manchester United. (REPORT)

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Arsenal are ‘on the brink’ of completing an £11 million deal for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, so long as the Blues can wrap up a deal for Robert Green or Asmir Begovic first. (REPORT)

Tottenham are closing in on the signing of in-demand Burnley right-back Kieran Trippier and could completed a £3.5 million deal imminently. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Stoke City are set to confirm the signing of Hannover 96 striker Joselu in the next 24 hours, after revealing a deal has been agreed. (REPORT)

Southampton have completed the signing of Spanish striker Juanmi on a four-year deal. (REPORT)

New York City FC have confirmed the signing of Athletic Bilbao right-back Andoni Iraola on a free transfer. (REPORT)

NYCFC have also announced the capture of Manchester City youngster Angelino on loan for the rest of the season. (REPORT)

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: United’s £211m spree, Liverpool in for Chelsea star & Lazio man to MLS

Daily transfer roundup (Tuesday, June 9)

MLS Rumours

Sporting Kansas City have once again been linked with Lazio’s Cristian Ledesma. The midfielder is reportedly unsettled at the club and has attracted interest from Arsenal. (REPORT)

Hull City‘s Abel Hernandez has been linked with a move to Seattle Sounders after the club were relegated from the Premier League. (REPORT)

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Seattle Sounders missed out on signing Dutch midfielder, Tjaronn Chery, after their contract offer for the Groningen man didn’t work out. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours 

Manchester United have made contact with Real Madrid over the potential signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane. Los Blancos are understood to have no interest in selling any of their stars. (REPORT)

Liverpool are interested in signing Petr Cech from Chelsea but Jose Mourinho has insisted he will find a player from any Premier League rival in a swap deal, which would make any potential transfer more difficult. (REPORT)

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Tottenham Hotspur have made an offer for Stuttgart striker Timo Werner. Mauricio Pochettino is looking to strengthen his attacking options and the bid is understood to be in the region of £7.5 million for the 19 year old. (REPORT)

Chelsea suffer blow as star is open to joining Arsenal or United

Chelsea have suffered a huge blow as Petr Cech‘s agent has revealed his client is open to a move to Arsenal or Manchester United.

Both Arsenal and United are expected to dip into the transfer market for new goalkeepers. Arsene Wenger could seek an upgrade for David Ospina and David de Gea’s Real Madrid saga is still ongoing.

Cech would be a great addition for either club, having won almost every trophy available during his eleven year chelsea career.

Jose Mourinho is hoping to keep hold of his back-up ‘keeper but it appears the decision will be down to owner Roman Abramovich.

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Cech still has one season to run on his current contract and if he stays with Chelsea he will more than likely move on for free. If the Premier League champions cash in on the 32-year-old shot stopper it is estimated his services would fetch around £10 million.

Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Besiktas are all reportedly interested in the Czech Republic number one and Mourinho will hope his star will opt for a move away from one of the clubs rivals.

Will Cech leave Chelsea? Will he be allowed to move to one of their rivals?

Arsenal dealt HUGE blow as target eyes Real Madrid move

Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Petr Cech as he is ready to join Real Madrid, according to The Sun.

Madrid have been heavily tipped to secure the signing of Manchester United shot stopper, David De Gea, but if the Spaniard snubs Los Blancos, Cech is willing to step in.

The Chelsea ‘keeper is unhappy with playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois and does not want another season on the sidelines.

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Jose Mourinho does not want to lose his number two, who has performed as good as ever in the games he has been called upon in the Premier League this season, with five clean sheets in six games.

Cech would be considerably cheaper than De Gea, with talk of any transfer for the Spaniard costing upward of £30 million.

Chelsea are keen for Cech to stay but have not ruled out his departure, although Mourinho doesn’t want him to move to any of their Premier League rivals.

Cech is rated at £10.5 million by transfermarkt.co.uk and Chelsea risk losing the Czech Republic international on a free next summer when his contract expires if they do not sell him in the coming months.

Will Petr Cech leave Chelsea this summer? Do Arsenal have any chance of signing him?

Liverpool and Arsenal receive transfer blow as £10m target in talks with Besiktas

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech could be on the way to Turkey as Besiktas have become the latest club to be linked with his signature after his agent confirmed talks have taken place.

That will come as bad news to Arsenal and Liverpool fans as the Premier League rivals have both been linked with a £10 million move for the Czech Republic shot-stopper this summer.

Cech is set to leave Chelsea after 11 successful years as he is not willing to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois again next term.

He has been strongly linked with moves to Inter Milan, Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool and Arsenal but Jose Mourinho is not keen to sell him to direct Premier League rivals.

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That could see Besiktas secure his signature as Cech’s agent, Viktor Kolar has confirmed the Blues star has received an offer from the Turkish side.

“We have been in contact with Besiktas, we are in talks. Turkey is a choice for Cech but we will decide when the league is over,” Kolar told Turkish website Fanatik.

Chelsea are expected to make a £2million move for relegated Queens Park Rangers ‘keeper Rob Green as they look to fill their English quota, though Green will have to accept a backup role if any move goes through.

Would Besiktas be a good move for Petr Cech? Should Chelsea sign Rob Green as backup to Courtois?