MAURIZIO SARRI and Unai Emery will lock horns in a first London derby for the bosses.
Chelsea manager Sarri got off to a flyer with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield but it was the same old story for the Gunners as Emery’s men suffered a 2-0 opening-day loss to Manchester City.
Eden Hazard is likely to start for the Blues after coming off the bench against the Terriers.
Here is all you need to know about Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 5.30pm at Stamford Bridge…
Hazard has proved too hot for the Gunners’ defence to handle in the past and his pace will surely test centre-backs Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted 10 goals in 13 appearances for Arsenal last season and his team will be looking to him to find the back of the net against their rivals.
Arsenal’s centre-backs will be tested. But Petr Cech looked uncomfortable his new requirement after Emery asked his goalkeeper to play short passes as part of their build-up.
The Blues showed little vulnerability at Huddersfield but Emery will undoubtedly be plotting a way to coax David Luiz into a defensive slip.
Sarri revealed Cesc Fabregas is out after suffering an “unusual injury” in the build-up to the game.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa – Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso – Kante, Jorginho, Barkley – Willian, Morata, Pedro.
Emery has backed Petr Cech to continue in goal, despite his shaky performance against City.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Cech – Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal – Ramsey, Torreira, Xhaka – Ozil, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan.
The stat that matters
Chelsea have not beaten Arsenal in six matches dating back to the 2017 FA Cup final.
What the bosses say
Emery has suggested that he will persist with his style of pressing and playing out from the back – despite being outplayed by City. He said: “We need to keep our personality, our mentality.
“Against City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes even when we were losing.
“That was a good thing… I want us to continue with this work and to be competitive for 90 minutes, but with a better performance both individually and collectively.”
Sarri had good news to tell about Eden Hazard: “I have spoken with him very often in the last ten days.
“He has never said to me anything about [Real Madrid], so I’m sure Eden will be with us for this season.”
1-0 to Chelsea. The visitors are likely to keep it tight at Stamford Bridge but the Blues should edge it.
- Chelsea have won five of their last six home league games against Arsenal, with the exception being a 0-0 draw last season.
- Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
- In all competitions, there were two meetings between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last season, with both finishing 0-0. Prior to that, Chelsea had scored in 12 consecutive home matches against the Gunners in all competitions.
- In all competitions, Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last two away games against Chelsea. They’ve not kept three in a row away at Stamford Bridge since January 1924.
- Arsenal and Chelsea have met 52 times in the Premier League. In the first 26 meetings, Arsenal had a 54% win rate (W14 D9 L3), while Chelsea have won 54% of the last 26 (W14 D7 L5).
- Arsenal lost their opening Premier League match against Manchester City – they haven’t lost both of their first two games in a season since 1992-93 (vs Norwich and Blackburn).
- The last Arsenal manager to lose their first two matches in charge was Steve Burtenshaw, who lost his first three in charge as caretaker in March/April 1986.
- As Napoli manager, new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri lost just four of his 57 home league games (W43 D10 L4).
- Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud scored in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017. If he scores for the Blues, he’ll be only the second player to score in this fixture for both sides in the Premier League, after Cesc Fabregas.
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s next league goal will be his 150th in the big five European leagues.