A Mouthwatering London derby takes place in game-week two of the new Premier League season, as Arsenal lock horns with Chelsea at the Emirates stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners started the new campaign in a disappointing way, suffered 2-0 defeat at Brentford last Friday, whereas Thomas Tuchel’s men eased to a 3-0 success over Crystal Palace.
Despite Mikel Arteta’s men made perfect start to the game by dominating possession, unfortunately it was Brentford, who took the lead through Sergi Canos.
The attacking midfielder broken the deadlock inside the 22nd minute before Christian Norgaard bullied his way through the Arsenal defence to propel the Bees to a historic win in the second half of the game.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian were all missed the clash due to contracted with Covid-19, which given Mikel Arteta to handed Folarin Balogun his first start in the Premier League last week.
Many believed that a campaign without European football would only benefit Arsenal domestically, but the Gunners – albeit one depleted by injuries and illnesses – kicked off the season in the manner that Gooners feared following an equally woeful pre-season campaign.
However, as disgruntled supporters prepare to make their return to the Emirates, Mikel Arteta’s men can take some solace in the fact that they claimed back-to-back wins in their final two home games last term, although they were against Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion.
Having had 22 shots without finding the back of the net against Brentford, the potential absences of Lacazette and Aubameyang are well and truly felt in the Emirates ranks, and worryingly, five of Arsenal’s last 10 opening home games have ended in defeat.
Ahead of tantalising London derby clash against Chelsea, Mikel Arteta has received huge boost concerning the situation of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after made returned to London Colney on Saturday morning.
The Gabon international, who missed last week matches against Brentford due to contracted with Covid-19, trained alongside the rest of Mikel Arteta’s squad on Saturday but Lacazette, Willian still remains in isolation.
After take part in Saturday’s training session, Aubameyang has took his official social media account to send a huge boost message to entirely Gunners team and fan across the continent.
The 32-year-old forward wrote: ‘Back out there ⚡️and his latest message means, ready to face Chelsea, which is huge boost for entirely Gunners team, who looking for the first winning this season after a dismal 2-0 defeat at Brentford last week.
Ben White, on the other hand, likely to missed Sunday’s Premier League visit of Chelsea, after the Englishman missed Arsenal’s last two training session.
According to football.london writer Connor Humm, Ben White, who made his competitive debut for the Gunners during their opening-day trip to Brentford, left the Arsenal base before training commenced on Friday.
Humm wrote on Twitter: ‘The players usually have COVID tests before training. I understand that on Friday Ben White left before training started and didn’t return. Not pictured in any training pictures today either. Unconfirmed but probably going to miss Chelsea.’
Martin Odegaard is likely to miss the clash due to paperwork issue but Aaron Ramsdale could be as back-up option for Bernd Leno against Chelsea.
Odegaard and Ramsdale are two players that added to Mikel Arteta current squad following the arrival of Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Ben White.
Gabriel Magalheas also back to individual training session at London Colney, in hope of getting back to action as soon as possible.
Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah are totally rule out of today contest after sustained injuries problem against Chelsea early this month in the pre-season friendly match at Emirates stadium.
Moving on to predicted starting lineup, Mikel Arteta is likely to make some changes to the side that started last routine, with Aubamenyang, Rob Holding, Bukayo Saka, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Emile Smith-Rowe, and Granit Xhaka likely to get start against the European champions.
Despite the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United, Bernd Leno is likely to picks between the sticks for Arsenal when face Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, while the Englishman could be back-up option for Mikel Arteta.
As for the centre-back unit, Ben White has reportedly doubt for the clash due to Covid-19 case, as a result of that, Rob Holding likely to partner Pablo Mari at the hearts of Arsenal defence since Gabriel Magalheas yet to available.
Since Hector Bellerin also missed last Arsenal’s training session on Saturday due to Covid-19 case, Calum Chambers could be start at right-back while Kieran Tierney will play left-back.
Moving on to midfield options, Sambi Lokonga is expected to partner Granit Xhaka in the middle of park against Chelsea. The Belgium star showcased a lot of maturity and impressive display in Arsenal’s opening league games of the season.
Mohamed Elneny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be other options for Mikel Arteta since Thomas Partey yet to available for the clash.
Emile Smith Rowe is a sure starter in attack, while Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are expected to behind Pierre-Emerick Aubamenyang in Arsenal front-line against Chelsea.
Arsenal predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Lokonga, Xhaka; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Aubamenyang.
Where is the match being played? at the Emirates stadium.
When is kick off? Sunday 22 August, at 4:30PM
Where to watch Arseno vs Chelsea
TV channel: The match will be televised on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the website or Sky Go app.