Chelsea welcome London rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday and they will be aiming to continue their strong start to the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.
Maurizio Sarri’s reign in west London got off to a splendid start last Saturday as the Blues defeated Huddersfield Town 3-0 thanks to goals from N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro.
However, they will face a much sterner proposition in the form of the Gunners, who are also adapting to life under a new boss this season.
Unlike Chelsea, though, Unai Emery’s men suffered a 2-0 home loss against reigning champions Manchester City on the opening weekend and they will be keen to bounce back with a win.
|Game||Chelsea vs Arsenal|
|Date||Saturday, August 18|
|Time||5:30pm BST / 12:30pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US) the game will be shown on television on a number of channels, including NBC, UNIVERSO and Telemundo Deportes. It can also be streamed live using the NBC Sports online service.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBC / UNIVERSO / Telemundo Deportes||NBC Sports online / UNIVERSO Now|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game is being broadcast live on television on BT Sport 1 and can be streamed live using the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport app|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Green, Bulka|
|Defenders||Rudiger, Alonso, Moses, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Ampadu, Emerson|
|Midfielders||Fabregas, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Drinkwater, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Pedro, Hazard, Willian, Hudson-Odoi|
|Forwards||Giroud, Abraham, Morata|
Cesc Fabregas is still an injury concern for the Blues after sustaining a knee injury during pre-season, but Eden Hazard should take his place in the starting XI after coming off the bench on the opening week.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has left the club to join AC Milan on loan, while loan signing Mateo Kovacic will be pushing for some level of involvement, though it could be from the bench.
Potential Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Hazard, Pedro, Morata.
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Leno, Martinez|
|Defenders||Bellerin, Sokratis, Koscielny, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Jenkinson, Mavropanos, Kolasinac|
|Midfielders||Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Xhaka|
|Forwards||Lacazette, Aubameyang, Welbeck|
Arsenal will be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who suffered a leg fracture, meaning that there will be a change at left-back, with Stephan Lichtsteiner perhaps deputising.
Sead Kolasinac is also unavailable for the upcoming weeks as he recovers from a knee injury, while Laurent Koscielny remains a long-term absentee.
Potential Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Lichtsteiner; Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Guendouzi; Aubameyang.
Betting & Match Odds
Chelsea are 4/5 favourites to win the game according the , with Arsenal priced at 7/2. A draw between the sides is a 3/1 bet.
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Chelsea and Arsenal are both navigating their way through a period of transition, with Sarri and Emery attempting to imprint their philosophies on their respective team, so there is a degree of uncertainty attached to both sides at this early stage of the season.
The opening weekend saw contrasting fortunes for either side; the Blues got their campaign off to the perfect start by making light work of Huddersfield, but the Gunners were presented with a much more difficult task against Man City and they struggled to match Pep Guardiola’s champions, despite boasting home advantage.
Of course, Chelsea and Arsenal have already met this season too, playing out a 1-1 draw in Dublin as part of the International Champions Cup during their pre-season schedule and, while Emery’s men ultimately claimed victory on penalties, there was very little to separate the teams during 90 minutes.
With three points and bragging rights at stake on Saturday, the game at Stamford Bridge will have a totally different feel to it and the Blues come into the match with the added boost of having Hazard available, so they will be feeling particularly confident.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will be desperate to avoid a second defeat in succession, which would already see them playing catch up with their rivals in the hunt for a top-four finish, which will surely be their minimum expectation after missing out last term.