There’s no doubt that the pick of this weekend’s games arrives at Stamford Bridge, with this set to prove to be another test of both side’s title aspirations. The general consensus is that Chelsea will prevail following their blinding start to the campaign, but Arsenal do have the carrot of going within three points of their opponents should they achieve an unlikely victory.
They came so close last season, but this term seems to be a completely different set of affairs for Chelsea. The Blues seem to have patched up all of their differences from the 2013/14 campaign and having amassed sixteen points from their opening six games, they are most definitely the division’s pace-setters. Jose Mourinho’s men know that a victory will put them five points ahead of 2nd place Manchester City and while it is still early days, that is still a healthy margin whatever point of the campaign it occurs at. Recent form suggests that they are set for all the points as well, with the Blues winning all three of their Premier League games at Stamford Bridge so far. Additionally, the only points they have dropped at home game in the draw in the Champions League against Schalke, meaning that it is slowly becoming a fortress which should again aid their title aspirations immensely.
Arsenal on the other hand have experienced a mixed start, but still find themselves in 5th spot following their opening five games. It means that a victory would throw them completely back into the title race – although a defeat would put them nine points behind Chelsea which would be a huge difference even after just a couple of months. Already, we’ve seen signs that Arsene Wenger’s men are going to be painfully frustrating to watch and the fact that they have won just twice so far highlights their frailties. Some would suggest that they are at least proving difficult to beat, having not lost a game thus far, but that is not going to throw them into the title mix and it will therefore be interesting to see how they approach this game at Stamford Bridge.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on Diego Costa over the past couple of months, which is hardly surprising considering his terrific goals haul. However, his hamstring remains a concern and Jose Mourinho is expected to risk him this weekend even though he will have played all of the Blues’ three games over the last nine days. In other news, there won’t be a place for Ramires who struggles with a groin problem. Arsenal in contrast have a boatload of injuries to contend with. Abou Diaby, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta are all out, but there could be a place for Nacho Monreal who is back in the reckoning after a back problem.
Arsenal may have proven difficult to beat so far, but their injury situation appears to be taking its toll and we just can’t see past the home side this weekend. Chelsea have a sterling home record and when you bear these factors in mind, our tip will be a 2-0 win for the Blues.