Arsenal v Chelsea Match Preview (Premier League) – Saturday 24th September 2016

Chelsea were leapfrogged by Arsenal last weekend, can they get their noses back in front with victory at the Emirates? There was little for the Blues to celebrate last term, but their double over Arsenal was a rare highlight. Even when they’re finishing 10th, they’re still recording wins over the Gunners. Can Conte’s side continue that tradition this weekend?

The Gunners know exactly how Chelsea were feeling last weekend. Liverpool won at the Emirates this season too, a 4-3 victory on the opening day. It’s hard to say which of the two defended worse against the Reds. Jurgen Klopp’s men are perfectly set up for big away games, this weekend’s fixture will be more to the liking of both of these teams, and the two coaches.

Conte against Wenger could be a fantastic battle. The two are very different in their styles on the touchline, it’s one of the many big managerial battles in the top flight this season. There’s a similar contrast to their styles as there was between Wenger and Jose Mourinho. Will there be the same kind of friction?

It’s likely to be a hard fought game, especially as Arsenal are back in form. The Gunners won 4-1 at Hull last weekend, as they recorded a third straight league win. While they’re getting points, they still look far too open when ahead. They were 2-0 up against 10 men at the KCOM in their last game, but they still let the Tigers back in the game with some poor defending. That said, they did keep a clean sheet in midweek in the EFL Cup, winning 4-0 at Forest.

You feel like the Blues have a chance here though, especially with Diego Costa playing well. However, they’ll have to deal with the heavy legs after extra time from Tuesday’s game. A pretty strong side started the clash at Leicester, while the rested stars ended up coming off the bench.

The Gunners had a much easier night in midweek and weren’t tested in that 4-0 success at Nottingham Forest. However, that’s probably balanced out by their extra Champions League commitments. Given how open the two sides have been lately, there’s a worry (not for the neutrals!) that this could be a crazy goalfest.

The likely return of John Terry should cancel that out. Having missed the last two matches, the captain is set to return here. While he was set to be a bit part player this term, recent shambolic defensive displays have highlighted his importance. In a crucial game like this, Terry will be needed.

The Blues are going through a pretty tough run at the minute, and this will probably be their biggest test. The Gunners come in with confidence, although they lack the grit to carve out a win. The Blues haven’t exactly been flying, they’ve toiled in their last couple of games. It’s hard to call this one, but a point here wouldn’t be a bad result for the Blues.

LCN Verdict: 1-1 draw