Chelsea play host to Arsenal in the 60th North West London derby of the Premier League era at Stamford Bridge in the early hours of Thursday, April 21. The match will kick off at 12:15 AM IST.
Both teams are struggling to work with a fully fit squad as Chelsea are set to be without midfielder Mateo Kovacic for this fixture. Arsenal, on the other hand, are sweating over the availability of captain Alexandre Lacazette who tested positive for COVID-19 before the Southampton match.
This mostly means Mikel Arteta will have to slot in Eddie Nketiah into the starting XI. Or he might as well push Gabriel Martinelli into the central zone, with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe backing the Brazilian from behind.
Chelsea vs Arsenal odds for Premier League 2021-22
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Note: Odds are subject to change.
Chelsea vs Arsenal recent form
Thomas Tuchel’s men are coming on the back of an inspiring 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final. Before that, the team got the better of Real Madrid 3-2 away from home after beating Southampton 6-0 at their own backyard.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been a little shaky, having lost each of their last three games against Southampton, Brighton and Crystal Palace. The Gunners have, in fact, won just one of their last five matches in the league.
Chelsea: W, W, W, L, L
Arsenal: L, L, L, W, L
Chelsea vs Arsenal head-to-head
During the Premier League era, Arsenal have defeated Chelsea on as many as 22 occasions, compared to the Blues’ 20 wins. A whopping 17 matches have ended without a winner.
Interestingly enough, the Gunners have won two of their last three meetings against Chelsea and one of them came at Stamford Bridge in May 2021. Their last meeting ended in a 2-0 win for the Blues at the Emirates Stadium where Romelu Lukaku and Reece James got on the scoresheet.
Chelsea vs Arsenal prediction and tips for Premier League 2021-22
There are mostly two ways to look at why Chelsea are the favourites to win this fixture. First, Arsenal have not won back to back away league matches against them since 1997. Second, Chelsea are chasing a league double over Arsenal for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
On the other hand, the fact remains that Arsenal haven’t lost a midweek game against Chelsea since December 1974. Since then, the two teams have played 11 matches in the midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), with Arsenal winning five while six matches have been drawn.
Come Thursday, expect the Blues to come out on top.
Featured photo: AFP / Justin Tallis