Arsenal look to revive top four hopes

Arsenal VS Chelsea

Arsenal will look to revive their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League when they host London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, 19 January 2019, kick-off at 19h30 CAT.

Arsenal come into the game under something of a cloud, having succumbed 1-0 in another London derby, away to West Ham United, this past weekend. Declan Rice scored the only goal of the game, with Gunners manager Unai Emery left defending his side’s lack of creativity and attacking potency.

The match was the first time Arsenal have failed to score in the league since the opening weekend of the 2018/19 season. The omitted Mesut Ozil may have made a difference in unlocking the Hammers’ defence, but the Gunners surely had enough firepower on the pitch in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi – all of whom played the full 90 minutes.

Chelsea, meanwhile, overcame a stubborn Newcastle United 2-1 at home on Saturday evening. Wingers Pedro and Willian each scored a goal as the Blues got the better of Rafael Benitez’s ultra-defensive Magpies.

Maurizio Sarri continues to persist with the tactic of playing Eden Hazard as a centre-forward. The Belgian is perfectly capable of playing the role, but it certainly doesn’t allow him the freedom to run at defenders he so enjoys and Chelsea’s overall effectiveness suffers as a result.

The underlying narrative to this London derby will be the battle for a top-four place. Chelsea currently occupy fourth and the weekend’s results saw them open up a six-point advantage over Arsenal, while Manchester United have also come into the equation in recent weeks.

In head-to-head stats, Arsenal and Chelsea have met in 53 Premier League matches. The Gunners have claimed 19 wins compared to 18 for the Blues, while 16 games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in August 2018 which Chelsea won 3-2, with goals from Pedro, Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso (Arsenal’s strikes came from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi).

Arsenal v Chelsea – Head-to-head, Premier League

Matches played 53

Arsenal wins 19

Chelsea wins 18

Draws 16

Last five results (League only, most recent first)

Chelsea WDWWL