The match between Chelsea and Arsenal on February 4 is quite a while away, but it does look like it will be a very important game in the Premier League title race this season. With the Blues and the Gunners both aiming to clinch the championship, the London derby at Stamford Bridge will be massive.
Of course, a lot could happen between now and then. Chelsea could drop points dramatically and Arsenal could go on a winning run. Manchester City could start to play like manager Pep Guardiola wants them to, and Liverpool could make signings in the January transfer window in order to enhance their chances of claiming their first title in the Premier League era. However, one can be certain that the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal in February is going to a key match in the title race.
“Arsene Wenger directs the troops” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald
Assuming everyone remains fit and there are no suspensions, the match will have a number of world-class stars. Diego Costa and Eden Hazard will be the key players for Chelsea, while Arsenal will have Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil starring for them.
As discussed on Ticketgum in November, Ozil will be a key player for the Gunners this season. The former Real Madrid attacking midfielder has scored five goals and created 38 chances in 16 Premier League matches this campaign. Chelsea have a strong defence, and to breach the Blues’ citadel, the 28-year-old attacking midfielder will have to be at his best.
Under manager Antonio Conte, the Blues do play good and attacking football, and the London derby against the Gunners should have a few goals in them. One should not be surprised if it ends in a high-scoring draw with a couple of late goals.
In the corresponding fixture last season, Chelsea got the better of Arsenal 2-0. Kurt Zouma put the Blues in the lead at Stamford Bridge in the 53rd minute and Calum Chambers scored an own goal in injury time. The Gunners ended the game with nine men due to the sending-offs of Gabriel and Santi Cazorla.
Arsenal do tend to play better and win more points in the second half of the season. Prior to the 2015-16 campaign, Arsene Wenger’s side have averaged 2.17 points per game after the FA Cup third round in the previous three seasons. The Gunners lost back-to-back away matches against Everton and Manchester City in the Premier League in December, but the fans will know that with the likes of Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny in the team, there is every chance that results could improve in the coming weeks.on average there were 41,500 fans for each and every home match in the Premier League last season, and one suspects that the game against Arsenal will be sold out soon.