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Premier League preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal will be aiming for their first Premier League win since November 1 when they entertain arch-rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day.

The north London giants have experienced a poor league campaign and they are currently languishing in the 15th position after 14 games with as many points.

Mikel Arteta’s side registered their first league triumph at Manchester United in 14 years last month, but things have since gone pear-shaped for them.

In the next seven league games, they have bagged just two points while have also struggled to find the back of the net with just three goals in this period.

In midweek, they suffered another disappointment with a damaging 4-1 loss to Manchester City to bow out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Arteta will want a strong response from his players for the derby against Chelsea where their record has improved over the past few years.

Chelsea recently lost momentum with back-to-back league defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton respectively, but were able to beat West Ham United on Monday.

They are currently just outside of the top four with 25 points already on the board and the Gunners have a tough task on their hands to end their long winless streak.

Key Stats:

Frank Lampard’s side have won at the Emirates Stadium on just one occasion since the 2016/17 campaign and that was last season when they came from behind to win 2-1.

The previous league encounter between the sides was at Stamford Bridge which ended 2-2. The Gunners saw David Luiz sent off early, but managed to come from behind on two occasions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has excelled against Chelsea in his previous two meetings. He scored in the 2-1 defeat in December last year and bagged a match-winning brace in the FA Cup final in August.

Hector Bellerin has the knack of scoring late goals against the Blues. Bellerin scored an 87th-minute equaliser in the 2-2 draw last term. Back in 2018, the scoreline was the same with Bellerin scoring in stoppage time.

Team News:

Arsenal:

The latest Arsenal news has the team without Thomas Partey, who is still recovering from a thigh injury sustained during the north London derby. Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is doubtful with a calf problem, which has seen him miss the past two games. Gabriel Martinelli may also be assessed after receiving a bad kick on his shin in midweek.

Chelsea:

The Blues could be without three players as well. Hakim Ziyech has already been ruled out by Lampard due to a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Reece James and Ben Chilwell are doubtful to feature. James is nursing a knee problem while Chilwell rolled his ankle against the Hammers.

Predicted Line-ups:

Arsenal (3-4-3): Bernd Leno; Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Hector Bellerin, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka; Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian

Chelsea (4-3-3): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva, Emerson Palmieri; N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Jorginho; Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic

Predicted Score:

Arsenal have fared pretty well against Chelsea in recent years where they have picked up impressive wins. There have struggled to create sufficient scoring chances over the past few weeks, but the players should turn up with a better display against one of their fierce rivals. Still, we are only fancying a share of the spoils.

Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and 11v11.com

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