Arsenal vs Chelsea – 5 Players To Watch Out For Ft. New £97.5million Arrival

Arsenal will look to bounce back from their opening-day defeat to Brentford when they host Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Gunners will be buoyed by the imminent arrival of playmaker Martin Odegaard, who could be available for the London derby.

Mikel Arteta’s side were comprehensively outplayed by Premier League newbies Brentford last time around, sending the alarm bells ringing across north London. Another defeat against the red-hot Chelsea will raise the heat on Arteta, whose position is growing increasingly precarious with each game.

Chelsea, on the other hand, crushed Crystal Palace 3-0 in their opener to kick-start their title challenge. New signing Romelu Lukaku has declared himself fit and is likely to start against Arsenal in place of Christian Pulisic.

On that note, here’s a look at five key players to watch out for in the London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Arsenal vs Chelsea – 5 players to watch out for

#1 Bukayo Saka

After being named on the bench for Arsenal’s opener, Bukayo Saka is expected to start against Chelsea. The England international was the Gunners’ standout player last season with five goals and four assists in the Premier League.

The Gunners lack creativity from midfield and the onus will be on Saka to test the Chelsea defence with his speed and dribbling ability. Saka is Arsenal’s X-factor and will certainly pose the biggest threat to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

#2 Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku completed a club-record £97.5 million move to Chelsea earlier this month, returning to the club he left seven years ago. During his time away from Stamford Bridge, the Belgian developed into one of the finest strikers in world football. Lukaku netted 24 goals for Inter Milan last season and was instrumental in their Serie A triumph.

With the likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech playing behind him at Chelsea, Lukaku will have plenty of service and could thrive under Thomas Tuchel.

He will be hoping to hit the ground running against Arsenal. The Gunners do not have the most physical or pacy defenders and Lukaku will fancy his chances of dominating the Arsenal backline. His powerful presence and movement could cause plenty of problems for the likes of Ben White and Pablo Mari.

#3 Kieran Tierney

Arsenal’s reliance on crosses under Mikel Arteta has made Kieran Tierney’s role all the more important.  The Scottish full-back is tasked with driving forward at every opportunity and whipping balls into the box for his attackers.

His energy and speed could trouble the 31-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta, who isn’t the quickest, and the inexperienced Trevoh Chalobah, who is expected to start on the right side of a back-three.

Against a team of Chelsea’s calibre, Tierney will also need to ensure he helps out in defence.

#4 Marcos Alonso

Marcos Alonso may not be the greatest of full-backs defensively, but there is no questioning his abilities going forward. Arsenal’s weakest link in defence is right-back Calum Chambers and Alonso will be keen to test the Englishman every chance he gets.

The Spaniard links up well with Timo Werner and the two could run riot on the left flank, especially in counter-attacking situations.

#5 Mason Mount

Mason Mount was named Chelsea’s best player in 2020-21 after an outstanding season in which he scored nine goals and provided nine assists. He will hope to kick on and take his game to a new level this season.

The England international has great vision and passing range and will be responsible for unlocking the Arsenal defence with accurate through balls. He also has a great engine and will lead Chelsea’s press.

Arsenal tend to commit mistakes at the back when put under pressure and Mount will have a key role to play in winning possession high up the field.

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