Two longtime Premier League midfield generals meet for the first time as managers when Arsenal and Chelsea tangle in a Sunday morning London Derby (Watch Live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal need wins in a bad way ahead of a meeting at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal has one win and eight draws in its last 16 matches, the most recent result a 1-1 draw in Arteta’s first match in charge of the Gunners.
That draw came while Chelsea was losing 2-0 to Southampton at Stamford Bridge, giving the Blues two wins from their last seven league outings.
An Arsenal win would open the door for either Sheffield United or Tottenham Hotspur to move into the Top Four. The Gunners open the day in 11th place on 24 points.
Arsenal: OUT — Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac. QUESTIONABLE — Dani Ceballos, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel Martinelli.
Chelsea: OUT — Ruben Loftus-Cheek . QUESTIONABLE — Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal: Leno, Saka, Mustafi, Luiz, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, James, Pulisic, Pedro, Abraham.
What they’re saying
Arteta on starting Mesut Ozil versus Bournemouth: “To be fair, his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible. I’ve seen this and I said I would give a clean slate to everybody and that was for him too. When we were preparing and watching where we could hurt the opponent, we believed he could be a key point. Like this, he responded, did what he had to do and we could have put two or three goals in the net because of him.”
Lampard on Chelsea’s poor run: “Teams are making it difficult here. We are not making enough chances, we were at the beginning of the season. We are being asked a different question at home. At the moment we are not answering them. We do not manage to pick up that final pass,” Lampard said. “Against Tottenham we had space to make runs and today we had none. It changes things. We did not do it right today. I think If at the start of the season we would have been happy where we are. We are good away but we have to make it difficult to come here.”
It’s the same old story for Arsenal: Goals will come, but will the defending? Injuries seem to tilt the scales for Chelsea, but the home stadium will be buzzing for Arteta and we think the new bounce might be enough for a 2-2 thriller.