The 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday 19 January sees fifth-placed Arsenal host London rivals, Chelsea, who currently sit in fourth. Arsenal are out of the race for the Premier League title, and now face pressure from a resurgent Manchester United to hold on to fifth-place and the first Europa League qualifying spot. Chelsea are 10-points behind leaders Liverpool, so look to be too far behind to challenge for the title, but victory will see them go above Tottenham and into third.
Arsenal come into the game having won just once in their last four games, a 4-1 home success against struggling Fulham. In the other games they were held 1-1 at Brighton, thumped 5-1 at Liverpool, and lost 1-0 at West Ham – so they will be glad to be back at the Emirates Stadium to face the Blues.
Chelsea are now unbeaten in four league games, but none of those results were overly impressive. They did win 2-1 at Watford on Boxing Day, before a 1-0 success at Crystal Palace. They were then held 0-0 at home against Southampton, and scraped through 2-1 at Stamford Bridge against relegation threatened Newcastle, last time out.
Two days to go… 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/LSXknEAd73
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2019
Team news – Arsenal
Manager, Emery Unai has a virtually full squad to choose from, with only Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Rob Holding unavailable. He might be tempted to make changes to the starting eleven after last week’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham. Lucas Torreira or Aaron Ramsey could return to the midfield to replace Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but Mezut Ozil could be back too.
Alex Iwobi, Alexandre Lacazette, and top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are expected to carry the attacking threat once again.
Team news – Chelsea
Chelsea have been dealt an injury blow, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek potentially ruled out for the season if he needs an operation on his injured back. Manager, Maurizio Sarri is also likely to be without Alvaro Morata, so expect to see Willian, Pedro, and Eden Hazard leading the attack. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho will have an important role to play in midfield, but Ross Barkley could be recalled to the starting line-up at the expense of Mateo Kovacic.
Head to head
Saturday’s game will be the 197th meeting between these two old rivals, who first met in 1907 at Stamford Bridge in a League Division One fixture, which Chelsea won 2-1 in front of 65,000 people. The reverse fixture that season ended in a 0-0 draw at the Manor Ground in Plumstead, when Arsenal were still called Woolwich Arsenal.
The two teams have enjoyed some classic games down the years with Arsenal enjoying the better of the results before World War II. One of the most memorable games between the clubs occurred in March 1958, when Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-4 at Highbury, which was watched by 41,620 spectators.
Chelsea were the dominant force during the 1960’s, losing just twice to Arsenal in 18 games throughout the whole of the decade. However, Arsenal would dominate results in the 1970’s losing just once in 16 fixtures, before Chelsea were relegated in 1979.
The first Premier League meeting between the Gunners and Blues saw Arsenal run out 2-1 winners at Highbury in October 1992, but Chelsea would win the reverse fixture that season at Stamford Bridge, 1-0.
Chelsea beat Arsenal earlier this season, securing a 3-2 success at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Pedro, Alvaro Morata, and Marcos Alonso.
The overall record between the two clubs stands at 76 wins for Arsenal, 63 wins for Chelsea, and 57 draws.
Prediction and betting tips
Six-points separate these teams in the Premier League, but games between them are usually close. The expectation will be for Arsenal to come out to win the game, but Chelsea come into the fixture in better form – and they know how to win on the road. However, the Gunners home record is impressive, but it does take them time to get into their stride.
Arsenal’s inability to defend makes us think there will be goals, especially as both sides have scored more than 40 each in the league. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a penalty either, and think Arsenal might just be able to nick this one.
Arsenal penalty awarded & Arsenal over 4.5 corners is 9/1 with MansionBet
Get Eden Hazard to score anytime @11/8 with MansionBet
Arsenal win and over 2.5 goals is 3/1 with Mansionbet