Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are winless in their last seven matches in the Premier League. Next up for the Gunners are local London rivals, Chelsea, on Boxing Day. There’s a lot of speculation about Mikel Arteta’s position as the manager at the club. Can the Spaniard inspire Arsenal to a season-changing win over Chelsea? Let’s find out.
Arsenal currently sits on the 15th position in the Premier League following a 1-2 away defeat to Everton midweek. Mikel Arteta’s side has won just one point in the last five matches and are just four points above the relegation zone. These are signs of serious concerns and many are calling time on Arteta’s time with the club as it seems to be too big a job for a rookie manager to handle. Others have shifted the blame to the players and believe that some members of the squad are cheating the club.
There are no two ways about it, the team is really struggling and has struggled ever since Arsene Wenger left the club. Unai Emery lasted just 78 matches at the club while there are dark clouds over Arteta’s future as the manager. The ship seemed to have stabilised when Arteta took over and won them the FA Cup last season. This season has been a horror show so far at the red side of North London and they are desperate for points in the coming few matches.
Their home form is a big concern for the Spaniard as the defeat against Burnley at the Emirates meant that it was the first time since 1959 that Arsenal lost four matches in a row at home. So far they have been making all the records they’d want to stay away from.
However, their record against the so-called ‘big six’ teams is a positive lining for Arsenal. Also, there’s a chance that club captain and their talismanic leader, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might return to the starting line-up after missing the past couple of matches. Summer signing Thomas Partey isn’t available for selection and Gabriel Martinelli suffered an injury in their previous match, so Arsenal will be sweating on his availability. Their results on Boxing Day are fabulous and they’ll hope to make it 10 wins in 10 fixtures on the 26th.
Frank Lampard’s Blues got back to winning ways after a win at Stamford Bridge against West Ham United. It was going superbly well for Chelsea before they suffered back-to-back losses in the Premier League against Everton and Wolves. It was important that Chelsea got three points against the Hammers and they did so with not a vintage performance but an effective one.
Chelsea have lost just two of their last 17 Premier League matches against the Gunners and that bodes well for Lampard’s men. Both full-backs, Ben Chilwell and Reece James are doubts for this particular clash, while Hakim Ziyech has been ruled out from the London Derby.
Arsenal (3-4-3): Bern Leno (GK); Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhães; Bukayo Saka, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin; Willian, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (C)
Chelsea (4-3-3): Edouard Mendy (GK); Cesar Azpilicueta (C), Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva, Emerson Palmieri; N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount; Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner
WHERE TO WATCH ARSENAL vs CHELSEA
With the official Premier League broadcast and streaming rights in India being with the Star Sports Network till 2022, select matches will be telecasted live on Star Sports SD and HD TV channels. Online live streaming of the EPL in India for all fixtures can be found on Disney+ Hotstar – Star’s own OTT platform. The match kicks off at 11:00 PM on December 26.
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