Maurizio Sarri’s third competitive match in charge of Chelsea will see his side welcome Arsenal on Saturday afternoon in Match Week 2 of the 2018/2019 English Premier League season.
The former Napoli boss will be optimistic of registering yet another impressive result, having launched his managerial debut in the Premier League with a riveting win in the opening weekend.
Chelsea swat aside Huddersfield Town with a 3-0 victory to go second on the log, a goal behind Liverpool who have their sights firmly set on the title this season. The hosts, who are currently enjoying their second consecutive season in top flight football having earned promotion to the Premier League last season, kept the game scoreless up until the 34th minute when Chelsea finally broke the deadlock through N’Golo Kante.
Willian delivered an inviting cross to the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner who drove the leather past Ben Hamer, albeit with a fortuitous strike as the Frenchman didn’t make the best of contacts with the ball. Jorginho- who followed Sarri to Stamford Bridge in the recently closed transfer window having played under him in Napoli- doubled the advantage via a penalty at the break after Marcos Alonso was fouled by Christopher Schindler.
The Blues proved that they were a cut above their opponents by grabbing their third goal of the day; a crisp, chipped finish by Pedro who was let through by substitute Eden Hazard. Although Chelsea wrapped up a comfortable day in the office with a much deserved victory, Maurizio Sarri was keen to downplay his chances in the League, stressing that it would take the next two months before his philosophy and managerial style fully rubs off on his players.
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The new Chelsea boss without question understands the responsibility that comes with being hired by Roman Abramovich, with the onus of not just returning to the Champions League but also winning the Premier League fully on his shoulders.
In stark contrast to Sarri however, Unai Emery began his role as Arsenal manager with a resounding 2-0 defeat to visiting Manchester City in their opening game of the season. Raheem Sterling seemingly put his dip in form at the World Cup behind him, as he scored the opener for City in the 14th minute.
Arsenal’s best chances fell to the attacking duo of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette whose efforts from outside the box sailed well wide of the target, whereas the clinical visitors put the game to bed with a second half strike by Bernardo Silva.
The result and general outlook of the game was a rude awakening for gooners who were hoping Unai Emery would usher in a new dawn after taking over from Arsene Wenger in the English summer. Despite the overwhelming expectations, the former PSG boss admitted he still needs time to rebuild the squad and has no magic wand to fix the deep rooted problems in the system compounded over the years.
Be that as it may, Unai still expect his charges to give their very best when they line up against Chelsea on Saturday. The Spanish manager will nevertheless have to make do without Sead Kolasinac who is sidelined for the next ten weeks with a knee injury while Laurent Koscielny is another long term absentee with an Achilles problem. Furthermore, the Chelsea game may come too soon for Nacho Monreal who only recently started light training having returned from the World Cup with a knock on the knee.
Chelsea on the other hand will continue to be without Cesc Fabregas who missed their win over Huddersfield Town last weekend with a knee injury.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal Match Prediction
Whereas Chelsea’s forwards will have a spring in their step after an emphatic start to the season, Arsenal struggled to string passes together during their loss to against Manchester City; their forwards appearing rusty, tellingly due to the fact that most of them never took part in the World Cup.
That notwithstanding, the cross city rivalry promises to deliver an entertaining match of football.
|Best Bet||Odds||Bet Now|
|Chelsea to win||-120.48 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
|Both teams to score||-151.52 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
Chelsea vs. Arsenal recent results
Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea (January 3, 2018)
Jack Wilshere 63′
Hector Bellerin 90+2′
Eden Hazard 67′ (P)
Marcos Alonzo Mendoza 84′
Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal (September 17, 2017)
Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal (February 4, 2017)
Marcos Alonzo Mendoza 13′
Eden Hazard 53′
Cesc Fabregas 85′
Olivier Giroud 90+1′
Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea (September 24, 2016)
Alexis Sanchez 11′
Theo Walcott 14′
Mesut Ozil 40′
Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (January 24, 2016)
Per Mertesacker 18′
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