Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Written by Sam Hopkinson

The Gunners have a habit of letting Chelsea wind them up. With Arsenal at the summit of the Premier League and comfortably the better side, there are only two factors which could hinder them. The first is hubris; the second is allowing themselves to be provoked. Will Diego Costa manage to get an Arsenal defender sent off, or will he earn an early bath himself? Even without Mourinho’s ‘palpable discord’ Stamford Bridge is still mired in mediocrity and confusion—playing Arsenal used to be enjoyable for Chelsea. It’s probably not going to be this time round

DEFENDER

John Terry

Scoring goals at both ends apparently counts as leading by example. After his (offside) goal to earn a point against Everton, John Terry claimed Chelsea have enough character to salvage something from this trainwreck of a season. It’s difficult to agree—the Blues look a lot like they’re waiting for May and the dust to settle so they can re-group for next season. Compared to their opponents who have the title within their grasp, will Chelsea be able to raise their game? Terry has the pedigree of a veteran defender and is playing for a new one-year contract. He will have his work cut out against Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud though.

MIDFIELDER

Cesc Fabregas

Having finally scored at Stamford Bridge, Fabregas will be hoping to add to his tally against his former club. Perhaps he’s thinking that it’s the best way to win over a fanbase that still doesn’t trust him following Mourinho’s departure. It’s not inconceivable that Fabregas will be on his way come the summer with teams like Juventus indicating interest in the Spanish midfielder. If he really does want to stay in west London, these are the games he needs to be performing in.

STRIKER

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean should be fit to face Chelsea and if he does expect him to have a good match against Ivanovic and the Blues porous defence. If Everton can score three times at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal and Sanchez should be quite capable of it at home. Because of the distance between the two teams in the table expect some aggressive challenges, especially on Sanchez. It will hurt Chelsea fans to be in this predicament and they will want to see some nerve and strength when it comes to shackling the ex-Barcelona superstar.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Petr Cech

Mourinho didn’t want to let him go, and now he is a key player for a team making a title push. Petr Cech has shown the quality to earn Arsenal a fair few points this season—how Liverpool must wish they had pushed harder for him considering their problems with Mignolet and Bogdan. Cech would have been a great player to have in Chelsea’s dressing room this season, maybe to the point where he could have helped stop the implosion that has cost the Blues their dignity.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.