After a brilliant opening weekend result against Huddersfield Town, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea will next take on Arsenal in what will be their first home game of the season. The Blues thumped Huddersfield by three goals and will be confident of overcoming an Arsenal side as well.
Arsenal have been handed a tough opening few games and their clash against Manchester City will have taught them something. Chelsea are going to be equally hard to deal with owing to their high press under Sarri and will have a few more key players returning to the side.
Chelsea looked a bit dodgy against Manchester City in the Community Shield game and the game against Arsenal will be an early test for the Blues. Though they beat Huddersfield convincingly, many fans and pundits believe that Wagner’s side are candidates for relegation, so the true test will come this Saturday.
Predicted Chelsea lineup vs Arsenal
Sarri has gone back to the more traditional back four after Conte’s departure. David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger are expected to continue at the back. The German, in particular, had a good game, having made three tackles and winning three aerial duels against Huddersfield.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso will once again start as the two fullbacks. Alonso was again pretty active in the attacking third and made three dribbles against Huddersfield. Club record signing Kepa will start in goal after having a sound debut last weekend.
The Chelsea fans will be mighty pleased that Kante is back and looking like he was never away in the first place. The Frenchman’s industry in midfield coupled with Jorginho’s ability to pick out a pass was the perfect combination last time out. Ross Barkley had a decent preseason and has made his way into the team. He could keep his place in midfield.
Eden Hazard came on and straight away looked like he could be a whole different animal in the Sarri setup. Despite coming on as a substitute, he had the highest number of dribbles by any player on the pitch – seven. He is likely to start on the left as Willian might move to his more favoured right-wing role. The Brazilian too looked impressive and completed five dribbles against Huddersfield.
Alvaro Morata didn’t have the best of games but is expected to get another chance to lead the line. His finishing needs to improve soon else he could well be dropped for Olivier Giroud.
Stats via Whoscored