MATCH PREVIEW: ARSENAL VS CHELSEA

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Kick-off: Saturday, January 19, 2019. 17:30 GMT

Venue: Emirates Stadium

This is a crucial tie between the 4th and 5th placed teams, and a place in the Champions League is at stake here.

Chelsea are six points ahead of the Gunners and will be aiming for a victory to increase the gap to 9 points.

The reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge ended 3-2 in Chelsea’s in what was a thrilling London derby match.

Chelsea found Arsenal difficult under Antonio Conte – a game that the Blues ended up winning more often than not under previous managers. The Italian was only able to record one victory out of eight against the Gunners in all competitions – a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in February 2017.

Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal last August is the Blues’ second win against the Gunners in nine attempts in all competitions. However, the Blues have fared much better against the Gunners in the Premier League. In the last six league meetings between the two sides, Chelsea have won three, lost once and two ended in draws.

Arsenal’s league form in the last six games has been three defeats, two wins and one draw. For Chelsea, it has been four wins, one draw and one defeat.

Arsenal have kept just one clean sheet in the Premier League since September, which was against Huddersfield Town, so Chelsea have the opportunity to take advantage of their vulnerability at the back, especially with the presence of a certain Eden Hazard.

After a strong start under manager Unai Emery, which saw them embark on a 22-match unbeaten streak in all competitions following defeats in their opening two matches of the season, the Gunners have struggled of late, and Chelsea will only compound their woes on Saturday evening at the Emirates.

Chelsea first team assistant coach Carlo Cudicini is expecting a difficult game on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a great game, for sure,” said Cudicini. “It’s two teams who have changed their managers and are playing with a new philosophy. The positions in the table are interesting, it’s (the gap between the sides) only six points.

“In recent years there have been some entertaining games between the two teams so hopefully it will be the same this time.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.