ADAM Goodwin (@agjournalism) previews Sunday's big London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Chelsea v Arsenal | Sunday 17th September 2017, 13:30 | Sky Sports
Chelsea put to bed any rumours that there was a “crisis” at the club within the last week, with wins against Leicester in the league and Qarabag in the Champions League.
The midweek victory at Stamford Bridge was emphatic, with six different players getting on the scoresheet, as they embarrassed the Azerbaijani champions.
The game at the Emirates didn’t finish until 11pm on Thursday, meaning Arsenal have 26 hours less recovery time than Chelsea do heading into this game, something which Arsene Wenger won’t be overly happy about.
The Gunners put the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool behind them by beating Bournemouth 3-0 last weekend and they’ll be hoping to add to that win this Sunday.
After a slow start, Chelsea are now starting to kick into gear and that was highlighted with their 2-1 win away at Leicester last Saturday.
Alvaro Morata has started well under Antonio Conte, scoring three goals and assisting two – all with his head. As well as Morata, Chelsea’s other new signings Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta have settled in well, both bagging their first goals for the club in the 6-0 win over Qarabag on Wednesday.
Eden Hazard is returning to full fitness and will be available to start on Sunday.
Arsenal have beaten Chelsea twice within the last few months – once in the FA Cup and once in the Community Shield. But their 3-0 victory over the Blues at the start of last season was influential in Chelsea’s title win as it forced Antonio Conte to change to the 3-4-3 formation that worked so well for them last campaign.
Alexis Sanchez looked to be on the move to Manchester City on Deadline Day, and when the deal fell through, Arsenal fans were worried about the Chilean’s commitment to the club. But his superb winning goal against Koln on Thursday will have eased their worries.
It’ll be interesting to see his partnership in attack with Mesut Ozil and new signing Alexandre Lacazette, who has started his Arsenal career brightly.
I feel that the 3-0 win against Bournemouth just glossed over the Gunners troubles and I think Antonio Conte’s side will exploit their weaknesses at Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger is still unsure of his best starting XI and continues to play players out of position. Until Wenger realises that he can’t put square pegs in round holes, Arsenal won’t win anything under the Frenchman.
With Sanchez and Koscielny returning to the side, hopefully this will provide Arsenal with some much needed stability.
The betting angle
Arsene Wenger will be encouraged by his sides recent success versus Chelsea but I can’t see them replicating that on Sunday.
Bar their loss against Burnley on the opening day of the season, Chelsea’s form in West London has been excellent and they’re 4/5 to record another win on home soil on Sunday.
I’m going to chuck in Over 1.5 Goals and back Chelsea to win and Over 1.5 Goals at 23/20 with BetStars. Chelsea have had two or more goals in every match so far this campaign and I can see that continuing this weekend.
Chelsea v Arsenal – Chelsea to win and Over 1.5 Goals (23/20 BetStars)