Premier League 2018-19: 3 key battles that will decide the London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea
- Some major battles that could decide which way the London derby swings
Gameweek 23 will feature one of the most mouthwatering clashes in the Premier League, as Arsenal host Chelsea in a crucial game concerning the League table. The Gunners are six points behind their opposition this weekend, and a defeat could end their hopes of a top-four finish and a potential Champions League football spot next season.
On the other hand, Maurizio Sarri will be aware of both Arsenal and Manchester United breathing down Chelsea's neck and will aim to get maximum points from this fixture to further strengthen their hold on the fourth place.
After an impressive start to the campaign, both sides have looked shaky in recent times, failing to maintain a level of consistency in their performance. However, often in these big matches, an individual moment of brilliance could turn a game on his head. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have enough quality in their ranks, and it will be interesting to see who can hold their nerves in this tense encounter.
Here's a look at the three key clashes that could decide the outcome of the fixture and potentially the top four race at the end of the season.
#3 Kolasinac/Iwobi vs. César Azpilicueta
Arsenal has been struggling to put up consistent performances lately, with the top four seemingly looking impossible as time passes by. However, a couple of individuals who have stood out despite disappointing results are Saed Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi. Both of them play down the left flank, which is the source of most of Arsenal's attack going forward.
Iwobi drifts inside, which allows the Bosnian Kolasinac the width down the flanks, while continually marauding forward to provide crosses to the strikers to tuck in. They will be up against the dependable César Azpilicueta, who will be leading his team out again at the Emirates this Saturday.
The Chelsea right-back cannot let his guard down at any moment, else it could be challenging to keep up with the pace that the Gunners posses on that side. If he can manage to keep both Iwobi and Kolasinac quiet, it could be a long night for the home side in their pursuit to close the gap to three points with Chelsea.