Arsenal travel to Chelsea, in a quest to relaunch their league campaign, aiming for a victory against the reigning champions. An Arsenal-Chelsea encounter hardly disappoints, and with their recent encounters all close calls, we’re up for 90 minutes of entertaining football at Stamford Bridge.
Let’s look at 5 key players who could influence the outcome of the game.
The sale of Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool did have a silver lining, Hector Bellerin, who for most of the season was employed at LWB, would revert to his favoured position down the right.
Against Chelsea, he will be up against Hazard and Alonso, and will have to be at his best to disrupt any Chelsea counter-attack down their left. Given his pace and defensive abilities, you would count on the Spaniard to have an impact that way. Nonetheless, he will be a threat going forward and will have a say on how things pan out in London.
Sead Kolasinac has earned somewhat of a cult status at the Emirates following his free-transfer in the summer. He has chipped in with important goals on a regular basis and has made the LWB spot his own, though he was out of the team for a brief spell in between. Nevertheless, his pace and physicality down the left will be key to Arsenal if they aim for three points on the night. Up against Zappacosta and Willian, his performance on the night will be vital.
Partnering Granit Xhaka in midfield is a tough task, one that Aaron Ramsey will be asked to do on Sunday. Ramsey has the ability of showing flashes of brilliance and will have to be at his very best if he has to better Chelsea’s dogged midfield. While he has been a shadow of his former self of late, the onus will be on him to take over the midfield duties and will need support from Xhaka in the centre of the park. His work rate too, will be of help as he’ll have to stretch his legs to track back and douse attacks.
The Chilean has been marred with controversy after his supposed failed move to Manchester City. He helped himself to a goal against FC Koln, an amazing one at that, and Arsenal fans will be hoping more of the same from Sanchez. He seemed to be better suited to a 4-4-2 system, and will be banking on support from Kolasinac down his side for overlapping runs, while he himself will work his way inward for an occasional pop at goal. He would definitely be an interesting talking point in Sunday’s encounter.
Goals have been abundant in this fixture, and Arsenal will rely heavily on Alexandre Lacazette to wear his shooting boots against the reigning champions. His ruthless finishing was on full display, in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth City and he will hope for more of the same against Arsenal’s London rivals. One thing is for sure, he will be up against David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger, so chances will be few and far between, and he will have to make due with whatever chances he gets, which he must take. Let’s hope he can deliver on Sunday!