Gameweek 2 Preview: Chelsea vs Arsenal
It's the start of the new season and we've already witnessed some thrilling matches. Wolves loanee Raúl Jiménez equalized to give the Wanderers their first Premier League point, midfield maestro Jorginho made his presence felt with that flawlessly executed penalty and Sadio Mané's brace showed us why he's still Liverpool's main man.
In this exciting second week of English first division football, we take a look at historic London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, who will battle it out for three important points at the Bridge.
In the 162 Premier League games played between these two clubs, Arsenal managed to win 62 of these matches while Chelsea managed 51 victories. Both teams have had 49 draws between each other but Arsenal managed to find the back of the net more often, scoring 226 goals in comparison to the 209 goals that Chelsea have scored.
Chelsea Team News
Maurizio Sarri got his Premier League campaign off to a flying start, securing a massive victory over David Wagner's Huddersfield. New signing Jorginho looked calm and composed, forming a deadly midfield partnership with fellow goalscorer Kanté.
The No. 5 managed 9 clearances and 66 passes in his first outing for the club and would look to improve even further against title challengers Arsenal. Captain Eden Hazard is also set to make his first start of the season after starting on the bench at Huddersfield.
The Belgian was a huge influence during the World Cup finals, helping the team reach 3rd overall and receiving the Silver Ball for his performances. New loanee Mateo Kovačić, who was a part of Croatia's dream run to the finals, would be looking to make an impact at his new club after he found it difficult to break into the Real Madrid starting eleven.
Chelsea's no. 1 for the season, Kepa Arrizabalaga, is looking forward to keeping another clean sheet after a very successful first match as the world's most expensive goalkeeper.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal probably have one of the toughest starts a team could have to a Premier League season, facing defending champions Manchester City in game 1 and FA Cup champions Chelsea in game 2 of the season.
Unai Emery's men failed to make an impact in their first game, with Sterling and Silva stealing the show, but would be hoping they can bounce back against local rivals Chelsea.
Swiss fullback Stephan Litchsteiner is expected to replace the injured Ainsley Maitland-Niles after his good performance in the role against City, while summer signing Lucas Torreira is expected to start in order to give the team a much needed defensive cover.
Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulous will most likely start as Arsenal's injury woes continue. Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolašinac, and Nacho Monreal are all sidelined for this upcoming fixture.
Star strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who would be looking to repeat his last season form of 10 goals in 13 appearances, and Alexandre Lacazette, who scored 14 times in 32 appearances last season, would be looking to start their first full English season on a high.
Huddersfield 0 - 3 Chelsea (N'Golo Kanté 34', Jorginho 45' (pen), Pedro 80')
Arsenal 0 - 2 Manchester City (Raheem Sterling 14', Bernardo Silva 64')
Chelsea XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rüdiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, N'Golo Kanté, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Willian Borges da Silva, Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard.
Arsenal XI: Petr Čech, Héctor Bellerín, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Stephan Litchsteiner, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal
Although both squads look evenly matched on paper, Chelsea's dominant midfield and their form from their stellar performance in the first round may just be the factor which sways the result in their way. Who knows? Maybe Arsenal can pull a trick up their sleeves though. Watch the match live on Saturday 18/08/2018 at 10:00 PM IST.