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Chelsea v Arsenal preview: Gunners duo ruled out, Lacazette to start + prediction

By on August 18, 2018

Unai-Emery-arsenal

Arsenal’s difficult start to the new season continues as we travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea this evening.

Unai Emery could hardly have picked a more difficult first test in English football after we were pitted against Manchester City in our opening Premier League game last weekend.

We impressed in patches but ultimately City had too much for us and they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium so Emery will be under pressure to get a positive result tonight.

Obviously it’s going to take take for him to implement his ideas at Arsenal but back-to-back defeats against two supposed rivals would be a poor start to his reign in north London so let’s hope we get something at the Bridge.

Maurizio Sarri hasn’t taken long to get his new side up and running as he led Chelsea to an impressive 3-0 win at Huddersfield last weekend but hopefully we can give him a much sterner test this evening.

Team News

Arsenal will continue to be without Sead Kolasinac as he’s not due back until October with a knee injury that he picked up in pre-season while Laurent Koscielny is out until later this year with a long-term Achilles problem.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering a fractured leg against City but thankfully Nacho Monreal is back in full training after recovering from a knee injury.

As for Chelsea, they’ll be without former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas due to a knee injury but Eden Hazard should return to the starting eleven while loan signing Mateo Kovacic could make his debut off the bench.

Line-ups

I hope Emery recalls Alexandre Lacazette as we looked much more of a threat when he was introduced last weekend. I’d love to see Lucas Torreira make his full debut alongside Aaron Ramsey in the middle of the park but I have a feeling Emery will continue with Granit Xhaka.

This is the side I’d like to see start:

Expected Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Pedro, Hazard, Morata

Prediction

We don’t have a great recent record at Stamford Bridge as we haven’t won in our last six visits and even scoring away to Chelsea has been an issue of late. I expect another stern test this evening as Sarri plays wonderful football and with the likes of Hazard, Jorginho and Kante playing the Blues have some excellent players. However, I’m going to back the boys to get something. We worked hard against City and if Emery has the balls to play Lacazette and Aubameyang, I think we’ll get at least a point. Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal.

Betting

Arsenal are 10/3 with most bookmakers to win this game but it’s worth checking out the likes of Voetbalwedden as they have some great odds and welcome bonuses for new customers to take advantage of. I like the look of Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang to open the scoring at 11/2 and if we add that to my prediction of 1-1 then we get excellent odds of 35/1.

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