If anyone is counting, at kickoff, there will have been 2151 days since Arsenal last won at Stamford Bridge. Prefer a simpler stat? Ok, it’s been almost six years. Ahh, I remember it like it was yesterday.
Arsenal took a 2-3 lead after being down 1-0, with goals from Van Persie, Andre Santos, and Theo Walcott. Juan Mata leveled it in the final 10 minutes, but that wasn’t enough.
I watched the match with my roommate at the time who supports that blue team. We both sat in front of the TV, anxiously waiting for what the final nine minutes plus stoppage time would bring. For me, it brought loads of joy, as Van Persie scored two within six minutes, guaranteeing the Gunners all three points.
That day, I celebrated, just as I’ve been able to do the last two times these clubs have met. The only problem this time around is that the match isn’t at Wembley.
More often than not, and I’m not entirely sure why, but, Arsenal lose at Stamford Bridge. It’s like clockwork. Could it be different this time around? Well, we can only hope that Arsenal’s victories over Chelsea in the FA Cup and Community Shield mean that Wenger has figured out Conte. Again, we can only hope.
For the sake of my sanity, and the enjoyment of my Sunday, at least one point would help, but three points would be oh so sweet.
Will Arsene Wenger opt for a back four, as he did in the second half against Koln? The lads looked much more comfortable in that system, with Sead the tank causing all sorts of issues down the left side. If he’s not in the starting XI, Arsene Wenger will have some explaining to do.
Predicting which Arsenal we will see has to be one of the most difficult and frustrating things to do. You just never know with them. One day, they look like they could conquer the world, and five minutes later, you’ve got Bellerin playing on the left and Walcott living offside, it’s just all over the place.
Can Wenger use the same formula that helped the Gunners come out victorious against Conte’s men the last two times?
High pressing, not allowing them to carry the ball up the pitch. Lacazette, who will likely lead the line, needs to make things uncomfortable for David Luiz and Gary Cahill. Don’t let them walk it into our midfield, or easily find the feet of their midfielders.
Slightly behind Laca, we’ll likely see Welbeck and Alexis, of which we know both will be tireless on and off the ball. Welbeck just needs to be sure he takes his chances, as I’m sure he’ll get one or two good ones.
Pulling the strings behind them, with Ozil looking likely to miss out, Ramsey could have his chance to play in that number 10 role he enjoys. Freedom going forward, which he likes, but, he’ll still need to be disciplined when it comes to positioning.
With Alexis and Welbeck offering creativity and pace out wide, Ramsey wouldn’t have to venture out as far, which should mean he can stay central, distribute the ball, and make those late runs into the box. Aaron, you should not be ahead of the ball! Got that?! Do not leave Xhaka alone against what will likely be a midfield of Kante and Bakayoko.
Speaking of Xhaka, he’s had his fair share of misplaced passes thus far, but having had time to rest after not taking part in Thursday’s match, I expect a solid performance from him. He played very well in the Community Shield, so let’s see another good performance! Everyone wants to use #XhakaLacaBoom, so against Chelsea would be a good time. 😊
But in all seriousness, a match at Stamford Bridge always has me on edge. From hating to see Arsenal put in a sh*t performance, to then having to deal with the handful of lads who support that sh*t club. They have to be the worst supporters, right? At least this lot is. They are absolutely unbearable. And today, they’ll be anxiously waiting to load up the group chat with all sorts of nonsense.
From #WengerIn, to Arsenal Sucks, and their stupid Antonnnniiooooo messages, they’ll have them all queued up and ready to go.
Come on Arsenal, I do not want to have to deal with that bullsh*t. It’s all worked out great the last two times they’ve met, so could you help again? A third consecutive triumph over Chelsea would keep them real silent throughout the day, and, could put them on the verge of removing themselves from the group chat because I’ll be sure to let them have it!
My heart says 1-2 to the Arsenal. Lacazette and Alexis with the goals, and just like that, Arsenal will be level on points with Chelsea, and four points off the top after a nightmare of a start to the campaign.