It’s all smooth sailing for Chelsea at the moment and all talks about crisis at the club has been swept aside with good results. There is a clear blue sky rather than thick cloud at South West London at the moment. With Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City still to play, the battle is far from over.
Up next for Chelsea is a London derby against North London rival, Arsenal. The only team to have defeated Chelsea twice in the Antonio Conte era. Here are 3 questions for this weekend encounter against the Gunners:
CAN CONTE TRUMP WENGER?
Prior to last season’s league meeting against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal had failed to win and score against Chelsea since 2011/12 season. Former Coach, Jose Mourinho had a way of frustrating the Gunners to make them self-destruct. A pragmatic style powered by brain and brawn was the Jose and Chelsea’s winning formula. But under Conte, it’s been a different story, three defeats in four games in this fixture doesn’t bode well for a team that Chelsea have always dominated. Just as the game last season that necessitated the change in tactics and formation, Conte will need to come up with a magic formula to beat Wenger or face constant questions about his hangover against him before it becomes a psychological hedge.
CAN CHELSEA CONTINUE DOMINANCE OVER ARSENAL AT STAMFORD BRIDGE?
It’s six years now since Arsenal last won Chelsea at Stamford bridge and just one goal scored during this period (Oliver Giroud’s consolation goal last season). Such Chelsea might over Arsenal have seen the Blues win Arsenal 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s second worst defeat in Arsene Wenger’s era. Can Conte and Chelsea continue this run to prove they are indeed the better team?
PRIDE AT STAKE: ARE CHELSEA TRULY THE PRIDE OF LONDON?
Last season saw diplomatic press conferences staged by Arsene Wenger, and Mauricio Pochettino. The Arsenal Manager claimed that ‘Arsenal is the only club in London’, while the Spurs Manager also said ‘Spurs is the most loved club in London’. Where does this leave Chelsea? To put it in a simple way: ‘Chelsea are the Pride of London’. The most successful London club in the Premier league era (since 1992). Arsenal are a spent force and still live on past glories rather than recent success. Spurs are the ‘nearly team’ of 21st Century and are yet to taste trophy success. But Chelsea are the epitome of London’s shining silver lining both domestically and continentally. Having already bested Spurs this season, Chelsea would really need to beat Arsenal to strongly hold onto our supreme title as London’s best club.
Chelsea and Conte need to give resounding answers to these questions both on and off fields, and the time is now. Let’s live the dream…Cheers!