Big Rom time!
Chelsea travel for a London derby this time with a trip to the Emirates to play Arsenal. The Gunners lost their opening game to Brentford 2-0 but this will be their first home game since the pandemic. It seems that the stadium might not be sold out and that just shows the situation Arsenal are in.
Arsenal’s loss to Brentford just popped any bubble of hope that the Arsenal fans had at the start of the season. If we are honest, Arsenal’s season is going to be a long slog. Arsenal looked 2nd best all over the park against Brentford and the centre backs along with Leno just looked rattled by Toney and Mbuemo. The attack looked devoid of creativity which they have tried to rectify over the last week by bringing in Odegaard on a permanent. Arsenal have signed Ramsdale as well for 30 million and he should displace Leno by the end of the year. Add fans to this mess and the fact that the Emirates will have a chance to voice their opinion and it’s melting pot for toxicity.
Chelsea go into this game having beaten Crystal Palace 3-0 last week. Lukaku joined up in training on Tuesday and Chelsea held an open training session at Stamford Bridge which was great for the fans and kids. Since it was a free event some weirdo managed to get in and abuse Timo. That person was hounded out by the fans and Timo was shown plenty of support over the day. The training has continued over the week and Tuchel has mentioned that he expects Lukaku to be on the pitch for the game. Tuchel was asked about Lukaku and the German said that he is a leader in the dressing room and other than the goals he should bring out the best with regards to Werner, Havertz, Pulisic etc. Tuchel was asked how many goals he expects from Lukaku to which he replied 50-60 by winter. Tuchel was also asked about Chalobah as the news came out that the German and Chelsea have decided to keep him around and removed him from the loan list. Tuchel said that the door is open to any player who works hard and Chalobah has proven himself on the pitch and this is why deserves to start and play. Asked about Arsenal, Tuchel said that they might not be at the best position at the moment but they will use that as underdogs and reinvigorate themselves with the fans back as well.
Chelsea Team Preview
Kante and Ziyech made a comeback in training this week and are available for the game against Arsenal. Lukaku is also ready. RLC and Pulisic are isolating after having tested positive for Covid. Mendy should start in goal with a back three of Chalobah, Christensen, and Rudiger. I would bring in Reece James at right wing back especially with Lukaku playing up front while I think Chilwell will start to handle Pepe. A midfield two of Jorginho and Kovacic should remain with Kante on the bench while I think Mount, Lukaku, and Havertz will start up front. Arsenal do sit back at times and the pace of Werner isn’t needed for this game, pace is also something Lukaku has so there’s no need to start both of them in this game. Mount and Havertz should play around Lukaku and hopefully score plenty of goals. Ziyech is back but I think shoulder injuries can be tricky and I would ease him back in.
Arsenal Team Preview
Arsenal will be without Lacazette and Willian after they tested positive for Covid. Aubameyang also tested positive but has since returned a negative test although it is yet to be seen if he is available. Odegaard has visa issues and won’t be available for the game while Ramsdale should be in the squad. Leno should be in goal and I expect a back 3 of White, Mari, and Tierney. White does better in a 3 like he did at Brighton. Saka and Tavares and wing backs potentially with Xhaka and Lokonga in the midfield. Smith-Rowe and Pepe should start behind Martinelli. It’s a decent team with plenty of pace which has caused problems to teams before.
Starting XI Prediction
For many seasons now I go into every Arsenal game saying Chelsea will win. Most recently we lost because of a silly error at the back. Chelsea have to win these games if we want to challenge and with Lukaku I am confident we leave the Emirates with 3 points. I haven’t been this confident since Costa. COME ON CHELSEA!!!