Match Preview: Chelsea FC v Arsenal



The oldest top flight London Derby will be contested Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge as North London rivals Arsenal take the trip across town to take on league leaders Chelsea. This will be the 182nd meeting between the two clubs in England’s top flight. Arsenal sit third in the Barclays Premier League, but have a poor record away from the Emirates, only winning 2 of 20 away games against top 6 opponents the last four seasons,  including 3 of 4 visits to teams in the top 7  this season.

Chelsea soundly defeated Galatasaray 2-0 in the Champions League midweek clash, with Chelsea hero Didier Drogab making his return to Stamford Bridge and receiving a hero’s welcome. Chelsea must turn around and quickly focus on a match with Premier League title implications. The match up with Arsenal will be noted for the rivalry between the two managers, Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger. The two men have waged a war of words before, as well as leading their teams against each other in England and Europe. For Wenger, this will be his 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal, and his 48th match against Chelsea, his Arsenal sides have lost 40% of those matches. A Chelsea win would put them 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League table before other matches this weekend, although Manchester City would still have a few matches in hand.

Chelsea would appear to be favorites again in this match against another London opponent, especially as the Blues boast the best defense in the Premier League. Chelsea have conceded just 23 goals in 30 league games, and that includes 13 clean sheets for Petr Cech and company. Other fun statistics:

1.) Chelsea have won 41 points this season from a possible 45, including 14 points from a losing position.
2.) Chelsea are 9 points better off in the standings this year compared to the same point last season
3.) Jose Mourinho is still unbeaten in 91 domestic games at Stamford Bridge, this will be his 76th match in charge of the Blues in SW6, he’s still unbeaten.
4.) Club captain John Terry will look to make his 400th appearance for Chelsea Saturday.
5.) If selected, Cesar Azpilicueta will make his 50th Premier League appearance for Chelsea.

Predicted Starting XI:


We could potentially see David Luiz as a CDM or even Mikel get a run out again, should Lampard not be match fit following his involvement midweek.