Week six pits the Arsenal Gunners against the Chelsea Blues in a highly anticipated London Derby match-up of rival clubs, and even rival managers.
Chelsea find themselves wavering near the bottom end of the table, unable to recapture the magic of the previous season in their first five weeks. Arsenal are established within the top four in the league with their momentum on a consistent upswing.
What to Expect from Chelsea:
Mourinho started with the head games earlier this week, making claim to Arsenal manager’s Arsene Wenger’s job once he’s left Chelsea. The Blues will use everything they can to right the sinking ship of their first five weeks against Arsenal, including home field advantage. The Gunners have traditionally struggled at Stamford bridge, and the Blues will be calling on some of that struggle to grab the result.
The entire Chelsea club is feeling the edge of things, and this needs to translate into aggressive rather than anxious play. The Blues will need a big day out of Asmir Begovic to rival the old Chelsea legend in the opposite net, Petr Cech. Begovic has yet to keep a clean-sheet since starting for the club for the carded/injured Courtois. It’s possible that the quality of play from Arsenal’s stellar defense brings out some of the best in Eden Hazard, but if not Cesc Fabregas will have to continue his strong play-making passes.
After being routed 3-1 last week if Chelsea gets ahead don’t expect them to park the bus.
What to Expect from Arsenal:
It goes without saying that all eyes will be on Petr Cech and his return to Stamford Bridge with a different kit across his back. The Gunners need to make sure Cech has a clear head on his shoulders. The world-class keeper has had a few notable sub-par performances, but in his most current weeks has performed at a high-level.
Arsene Wenger has maintained his cool in the face of Mourinho’s antics which should help keep the Gunners steady in their travels. Wenger will be hoping that Theo Walcott produces offensively for the Gunners. His speed and agility should help to to punch holes in the aging Chelsea back-line of John Terry and Gary Cahill. As the name implies, Arsenal is not short on attacking options.
If Walcott cannot break through Ozil, Welbeck, Chamberlain, or Cazorla will certainly challenge Chelsea’s tepid defense.