Now residing outside the top five after an indifferent campaign so far, Chelsea and Graham Potter face arguably their biggest test of the season as they welcome London rivals and Premier League (PL) leaders Arsenal to Stamford Bridge. Defeat at former employers Brighton last week was the first the Englishman has suffered since replacing Thomas Tuchel at the helm, stating his side ‘didn’t match the intensity’ of his old club en route to a heavy 4-1 loss.
The Blues bounced back with a UEFA Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb, and they’ll be looking to follow that up with a first victory of the season over a ‘big six’ rival. They are undefeated this season at Stamford Bridge but beating Arsenal on home soil in the PL is something Chelsea haven’t managed since August 2018 (D1, L2 since), and no side in the history of the competition owns more victories over the Blues than the Gunners (23)!
Arsenal make the short journey across the city in buoyant mood, having dropped points in just three games across all competitions so far this season. Mikel Arteta’s men lead defending champions Manchester City by two points ahead of the weekend, reasserting their position at the summit with a rampant 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in their last outing.
Arteta wasn’t completely happy with how his side performed in beating Zurich on Thursday, as the Gunners ‘didn’t control the game well enough’, although still ran out 1-0 winners. The Spaniard will be hoping for an improved performance at the Bridge, and he’ll have to be wary of any slip-ups given all three of the Gunners’ winless matches have been on the road so far this season (D1, L2), though that’s unlikely to dampen the spirits of their supporters who are daring to dream of a first PL title since the Invincibles in 2004.
Players to watch: Former Arsenal frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to lead the line for Chelsea, facing the side he scored 92 goals for during his time at the Emirates. His opposite number Gabriel Jesus provided two assists in his last league outing, but is currently in the midst of an eight-game goal drought.
Hot stat: Arsenal are the only PL side to score in each of their matches this season.
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REFEREE:Oliver M. (Eng)
VENUE:Stamford Bridge (London)