Hat-Trick Talk: Three Points For Arsenal vs. Chelsea
When the calendar started to get turned into the month of August, fans of the Premier League became excited to see the match-ups between the top managers in the league. This Saturday, there will be another match-up between these managerial giants, when Arsene Wenger and the Gunners host Antonio Conte and Chelsea in an early season bout 4th and 5th place that can shake the table. We will be looking at 3 key points to look for during this match-up.
Will Diego Costa be up to his usual fuc…err mind games and cause menace to Arsenal once again?
Anyone who’s a casual fan of the Premier League knows how much of a bully Diego Costa is. He is no stranger to controversy during a game, where it be stomping on an opponent, or delivering a cheeky elbow. Since joining Chelsea, Diego Costa has caused nothing but misery to the Gunners, netting twice in three matches. He also has gotten Centre-Backs Mertesacker and Gabriel sent off in back to back seasons. He is off to a hot start to the season, bagging 5 goals in 5 league games. It will be interesting to see how new signing Shkrodan Mustafi can keep a level head against Costa.
Which Mesut Ozil are we going to see? Force or Ghost?
It is no secret to football fans that Mesut Ozil is in a league of a very select few as far as his talent. He can see things on the pitch that not many other players in the game can and can also slip in the perfect pass through on goal. However, Mesut has been prone to go missing when the lights are the brightest. He is the lifeline of the Arsenal attack. His creativity and skill can change the game in favor of the Gunners with just a single deft pass. If Ozil can impose himself onto the game and not sulk on the pitch, the Gunners have a very good chance of coming away with a vital win against their rivals from West London.
Will Wenger adapt tactically, or will his stubborn ways show up once again?
Arsene Wenger has an undying loyalty to some of his players, plugging them in the XI regardless of form (looking at you, Oxlade-Chamberlain). In a crucial matchup where three points is needed to keep the pace early on, Wenger has to place the most efficient XI to stand up against Conte’s men. This means that the shackles that have been placed on Granit Xhaka have to be released and he has to play him in that midfield with Mohamed Elneny as his partner (which is easily Arsenal’s best midfield pairing). Wenger also has a selection issue at Centre Forward. Does he go with Alexis Sanchez up top to provide pace? Or will battering ram Olivier Giroud come back fit and make a surprise appearance in the XI? Maybe new boy Lucas? As for Antonio Conte, he has thrusted David Luiz back into the XI and has relegated N’Golo Kante from his Midfield Marauder role to a deep-lying playmaker, allowing Matic and Oscar to roam further up the pitch and supply the ball to their playmakers. This game will be won in the midfield and it will be interesting to see if Kante can shield the back four against the Gunners at home. Furthermore, Chelsea are still adapting to Conte’s hard pressed and rugged tactics that gave him success in Juventus. My Prediction? 2–1 to the Gunners.