Patrick Gillen (@PatrickGillen94) previews Chelsea v Arsenal and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s London derby at Stamford Bridge, analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 18/08/2018
- Time: 17:30
- Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
- Channel: BT Sport 1
Two of the capital’s newest managers do battle on Saturday evening as Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea play host to Unai Emery’s Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Both appointments were met with great excitement during the close season as each manager has arrived having accumulated a much admired footballing pedigree.
Naples-born Sarri caught the attention of European football by pushing the ever dominant Juventus to the penultimate game of the season with Napoli; in doing so the phrase ‘Sarri-ball’ was born due to the exhilarating, attacking style of football on display.
Unai Emery rose to great success as a coach by famously winning the UEFA Europa League for three consecutive seasons with Sevilla, before winning all four domestic trophies available with French giants Paris Saint Germain.
The Spaniard has arrived in North London with big boots to fill as Arsenal prepare to move on to the post-Wenger era of their history, after the Frenchman’s 22 year spell at the club.
The Gunners will look to make more of an impression than in their opening fixture in which champions Manchester City dominated from start to finish, putting somewhat of a downer on Emery’s Emirates stadium welcome.
Meanwhile, Chelsea got off to a flyer last week, winning away at Huddersfield by an emphatic three goal margin, despite suffering a similar fate against Man City themselves just a week before in the Community Shield at Wembley, losing 2-0.
It will be Sarri’s first Premier League game at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea boss and, with Emery desperate to not lose back-to-back fixtures in his first two Arsenal games, it promises to be a good one.
Eden Hazard looks set to start for Chelsea after impressing as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Huddersfield.
The Belgian likes this fixture, scoring three goals in the last six meetings with Arsenal.
The debate is who he replaces, with either winger Pedro or striker Morata likely to sit out, depending on Sarri’s tactical intentions.
Arsenal have their own selection headache, especially defensively, as they currently have no recognised left back fit and ready to play.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles started there against Man City ahead of the injured Monreal and Kolasinac, only to be brought off injured himself.
New signing Stephan Lichtsteiner will be the most likely candidate to start.
Chelsea Potential Starting XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Willian, Pedro, Hazard.
Arsenal Potential Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubamayeng
Stats & Facts
- Arsenal are unbeaten against Chelsea in six matches.
- Chelsea’s last win against Arsenal came at Stamford Bridge in February 2017, with the blues winning 3-1.
- Chelsea have won five of their last six home games against Arsenal.
- Arsenal haven’t lost their opening two Premier League fixtures since the 1992/93 season, when they lost to Norwich and Blackburn.
- New Chelsea boss Sarri lost only four home games while in charge of Napoli, out of a possible 57.
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs just one goal to make it 150 goals in the big five European leagues.
Head To Head
Chelsea – 62 – D 57 – Arsenal – 76
Chelsea 8/11 – D 11/4 – Arsenal 16/5 (Paddy Power)
Expect a closer encounter than Arsenal’s opening day of the season, with Sarri’s Chelsea side yet to be properly tested in the league. Emery will most likely set up to be compact before all else, but it remains to be seen whether the Gunners are over their much discussed defensive frailties. With Eden Hazard due to come back into the fold, coupled with an expected electric atmosphere at the Bridge, Chelsea will go into this one as slight favourites and rightly so.