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Chelsea vs Arsenal – Match Preview


Saturday seems to be the day for London derbies this weekend with not one but two cross capital clashes taking place.

On the undercard is Tottenham vs Fulham at Wembley, but it is fair to say that the main event will be taking place at Stamford Bridge.

That is because it plays host to the titanic clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, however it is also one that signifies the start of a new era for both clubs. In recent times it has been whatever Blues boss has been flavour of the month going up against the legendary Arsene Wenger.

But now after both clubs have made managerial changes over the course of the Summer we are stepping into something of the unknown. In the blue corner we have former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri while in the red corner we have former PSG boss Unai Emery.

Sarri would have been pleased with Chelsea’s performance away at Huddersfield last weekend, as they strolled to a 3-0 win. Not only did it get them off the mark in the Premier League with maximum points, but it was also a marked improvement on their Community Shield showing.

While in terms of Emery, it was perhaps not the best opening weekend showing that he could have hoped for. That said his Gunners side were paired against Manchester City, a start that could have not been any tougher.

However, there is a feeling that Emery somewhat played into the hands of Manchester City with his tactics that saw Arsenal struggle to play out from the back. Part of you has to think the new Gunners boss should be admired for sticking to his tactical principles, however at the same time maybe he should have been brave enough to mix up his system also.

It will be an interesting clash of styles on Saturday evening as Sarri likes to play a possession based 4-3-3 formation, one that squeezes the opposition. Whether this means Emery can again try to play out from the back remains to be seen.

And even though it is only the second weekend of the season, this game already takes on an additional level of performance. That is because Arsenal can ill afford a second successive Premier League defeat.

In doing so they would give up a six-point head start on their nearest rivals and although on the flipside they will have played two of the toughest teams, it will only add pressure on their new manager to get off the mark.

Chelsea should welcome back Eden Hazard to the starting eleven after he come off the bench in the 3-0 win over Huddersfield. While Arsenal will have to decide whether to play former blue Petr Cech, after a mixed performance in the defeat to Manchester City.

This will be the perfect opportunity for Maurizio Sarri to lay down a marker and show what he and his new look Chelsea side are all about. An opportunity that he will make full use of as the West London outfit make it two wins in a row.