What’s going on soccer and non-soccer folks! Hope your holidays were filled with lot’s of food, friendship, and successful betting on great sporting events that include but are not limited to: soccer, Bowl pick’em, basketball, NFL, UFC 219, and the Winter Classic. Well, the festive period is just about over, which means getting used to watching only one soccer match a week…..that is until the Champions League returns. As I’m sure most of you know, tomorrow Arsenal take on their bitter rivals Chelsea in a yuuuuge game, so let’s take a look at how I think this match will play out, but first I’d like to share my thoughts on our last match against West Bromwich, only because so many members of my Gunner family have reached out to me about this, and I’ll keep it to-the-point.
Post Match West Brom. Thoughts
Were we robbed of a win? Absolutely yes. Referee Mike Dean has been fucking Arsenal for years, and side note, did you know he is an admitted Tottenham fan? Sketchy. Super sketchy. It was not a hand ball and I don’t need to explain why, just watch for yourself. After the whistle I was fuming, just like all Arsenal fans, and rightfully so. But then I realized, how on Earth did we ever even deserve those three points? Let’s be honest, Arsenal were horrific, dreadful, and pathetic in that match. I’ve always been one to blame, or commend, an individual’s effort in a loss or win, as opposed to just an overall poor/strong team effort, so that’s what I’ll do here. Alex Iwobi, bruv, what do you bring to the table? Spoiler alert, nothing. Hector Bellerín, the same fans who chanted “you are not fit for the kit” last season at Palace, will soon be singing that again if you don’t step up; you were terrible that match. Petr Cech, do not get me started. You are supposed to be a world-class keeper, and one of the best the Premier League has EVER SEEN, yet you can’t save a fucking penalty! 0/14 on pen saves I believe you are for Arsenal, keep up the great work. Alright I’m done, moving onto tomorrow’s preview.
Arsenal – Chelsea Preview
Tomorrow’s match is much bigger than you’d think. Clearly the race for the Premier League title is over, I don’t care what anyone says, Man City have won it and by the way, it’s only January. For Arsenal, it is now about finishing the season strong and fighting for a Champions League spot, and taking home some silverware, whether that be the League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League, or all three for that matter. A Top 4 finish and a trophy or two would warrant a somewhat successful season in my eyes. Contrary to what most Arsenal people on Twitter say, continuing to fight for the above mentioned things matter. With that being said, let’s look ahead at tomorrow’s match.
The two teams couldn’t be trending in more opposite directions. Currently Chelsea sit 3rd on the table and could find themselves in second if they win tomorrow and with a game in hand, while Arsenal are coming off their second draw in three matches. But asides from both teams’ positions in the league, thing’s couldn’t be more different. Arsenal seem to struggle with every single opponent they have faced this season, and more times than not, make it extremely difficult for themselves to get anything out of a match. If we win, Lacazette or Alexis get pissed off because they’re subbed off too early. If we lose, the team lacked anything upfront or on the creative end. If we draw, we deserved it because we got robbed of a call, presumably from Mike Dean.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are coming off a battering of Stoke and a solid 2-0 victory over Brighton. They’ve really played well in the league throughout the season, and find themselves in the Round of 16 in the Champions League against a very, very tough Barcelona side. Not saying that they’ll be able to accomplish anything there, but hey at least they made it that far, something Arsenal could not do.
In regards to the actual match, I really don’t like Arsenal’s chances. The only reason to believe they can muster anything out of this is simply due to the fact that we are playing at the Emirates, which some people have seemed to shrug off or forget how toxic that atmosphere can be. So, is it really an advantage playing at home for us? Arsenal are also dealing with quite a few injuries, as Giroud, Ozil, Ramsey, Monreal, Kolasinac, and Koscielny have picked up knocks, with that latter of those four certainly not being able to play Arsene has admitted. Great. Chelsea on the other hand are working with a full squad with the exception of Victor Moses.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Alexis; Lacazette
Chelsea: Courtois; Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso; Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas; Hazard, Morata
Not really sure how anyone can fancy Arsenal in this one, that’s how bad it’s gotten, but given our recent form against Chelsea and our desire to play somewhat well in the big games at home, I can see this one ending in a draw, but not today. Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea.
Stay tuned for my second edition of European Power Rankings when the rest of the big 5 leagues resume play. Stay Kickin’ It!