Arsenal v Chelsea: the predictions, the injuries and the psychology

Physioroom is showing Arsenal in the lower reaches of the injury listings, along with Chelsea.  Each has three men out.

Top of the list for injuries is West Ham on nine players down. Only two clubs have fewer injuries than Arsenal and Chelsea.

The three Arsenal men out are Mkhitaryan, Welbeck and Holding.   Mkhitaryan is expected to be back in training next week.  Morata is said to be a slight doubt for Chelsea, while Loftus Cheek and Ginkel are long term injuries

The home and away form

Arsenal’s away form this year has improved slightly but their home form is not quite as solid as it was before – although still very decent.

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 10 9 1 0 27 3 24 28
3 Arsenal 11 8 2 1 24 10 14 26
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 10 6 3 1 21 13 8 21
6 Everton 12 6 3 3 20 16 4 21
7 Tottenham Hotspur 10 6 0 4 18 10 8 18

Just the one home defeat and that at the very start of the season.  Arsenal have played 11 won eight and drawn two with just one defeat.  The club has the third best home scoring record, and the third best defensive record in the league.

However when we look at the away form we can see that Chelsea are doing very well also – so we have the third best home team in the league against the third best away team.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 12 10 0 2 28 12 16 30
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Chelsea 10 7 1 2 19 8 11 22
4 Manchester City 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 20
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 11 5 2 4 13 13 0 17
7 Watford 11 4 4 3 16 14 2 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

Chelsea have been scoring fractionally under two a game while conceding under one a game.  That will be tough for Arsenal.

Recent results

Arsenal are the team out of form…

16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal L 3-2
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 0-2
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley W 3-1
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Arsenal L 5-1
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0

The recent Arsenal wins have been against very modest opposition, except for Tottenham who themselves are doing very well away from home this season.

Chelsea’s results look like this

22 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Leicester City L 0-1
26 Dec 2018 Watford v Chelsea W 1-2
30 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Chelsea W 0-1
02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0
05 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Nottingham Forest FAC W 2-0
08 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea LC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Newcastle United W 2-1

There is a consistency of low scoring games, even against more modest opposition, and in addition that defeat in the League Cup to Tottenham.   But away from home of late they have been seen edging past Watford and Palace, each by just a single goal.

That suggests that if Arsenal can take the lead they might be able to hold Chelsea at bay.

But Arsenal have been poor at taking the lead, spending much more time trying to recover in the second half from the sins of the first half.

The psychology

Arsenal seem to be much edgier than Chelsea not least because there is no money it seems, there is the chance of a much heralded senior member of the management team thinking of leaving, and because they are under constant attack in the media.  Plus their current results don’t look too clever.

I think a low scoring game; Chelsea might just sneak this by one goal.

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