Paul Merson has predicted an easy win for Chelsea in their Premier League game against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “It’s all about the first goal. If Arsenal score first you will watch and think ‘wow, they look decent’. They will be confident and they have good players who look decent when they are winning.
“But when they are losing too many of them just go completely and utterly missing. The shape goes out of the window and if they let in the first goal it could be anything.”
Merson thinks Chelsea will win 3-0, which would heap even more pressure on Arsene Wenger after a stuttering start to the season.
It’s early days in the Premier League, but these are the games that define the season and Arsenal really need to get a result.
They’re currently 11th in the Premier League after a shock defeat against Stoke, and Chelsea are third. Arsenal are also going to have to play after their Thursday night exploits in the Europa league – a first for Wenger’s men.
If Arsenal can get the first goal then it could be a really competitive tie, but Wenger really needs Alexis Sanchez back to full form and that still looks a way off. You wouldn’t write off Wenger’s men if they lost at Stamford Bridge, but the fans won’t be happy. Unfortunately for them, we think Merson has probably got this one spot on.
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CHELSEA VS ARSENAL PREVIEW
Chelsea host Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend and the Blues will be determined to continue their impressive run of form with a win.
After the disappointing defeat against Burnley at the opening day of the season, Conte’s side have found their rhythm. They will be heading into this game on the back of a 6-0 win in the Champions League and Arsene Wenger’s side needs to be very careful here.
Arsenal have lost two of their last three Premier League games and their record against top four clubs is quite embarrassing. The Gunners will need to improve at the back if they want to get a positive result from this one.
This was a very important fixture last season as far as the title race is concerned. Chelsea had made a poor start and their defeat against Arsenal forced Conte to switch to a back three. The Blues found their rhythm with three defenders at the back and were unstoppable for the rest of the season.
In that same time period, it has gone all wrong for Wenger and his side. Arsenal are now out of the Champions League and they seem very unlikely to fight for the title.
CHELSEA VS ARSENAL TEAM NEWS
Chelsea have a fully fit squad to choose from for this weekend’s London derby.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will be without their injured duo of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.
Predicted Chelsea Starting Lineup (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz; Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard, Morata, Willian
Predicted Arsenal Starting Lineup (3-4-2-1): Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Mustafi; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette
The home side are firm favourites for this one and they should be able to secure a comfortable win. Arsenal are defensively quite weak and they will struggle to contain the likes of Hazard and Morata.
Conte’s men have enough defensive quality to contain the likes of Sanchez and Lacazette and a home win seems quite likely here.
Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal