What is it?
The Boxing Day clash between a beleaguered Arsenal team, struggling for any semblance of form – and points – towards the bottom end of the table and their London rivals Chelsea, who are doing a little better.
When is it?
Saturday, December 26
What time is kick-off?
5.30pm, in one of six Premier League matches on Boxing Day.
What TV channel is it on?
Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event for this game.
What is the team news?
For Arsenal, Gabriel Martinelli hobbled off against Everton last week, but he could play a part in this game. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also remains a doubt with a calf injury.
What are they saying?
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have entered the defining period of their season, telling his players that they must halt their slide “this week” as pressure mounts following their disastrous start to the campaign.
“Things have to turn around,” Arteta told the club website. “This is a crucial moment for us in the season and we have to do it this week.
“I am really feeling for the players, and obviously for our fans because something is happening every game for different reasons. But we need results.”
Telegraph Sport’s Sam Dean said that Mikel Arteta’s focus on his side’s in-house analytics – and his insistence that it is “unbelievable” how they are where they are – does not mask Arsenal’s weaknesses.
“So, if Arsenal’s internal analysis shows they are performing better than the results suggest, why are those results not improving? In Arteta’s eyes, it largely comes down to efficiency in front of goal.
Earlier this year, the strikers were burying a high proportion of their chances. Now, they are not,” Dean wrote.
Frank Lampard, meanwhile, said that Tammy Abraham – who scored twice in Chelsea’s win over West Ham – must fight to keep his place in the team.
“Olivier Giroud has been playing well and scoring goals, but you have to look at the opposition and they have different attributes,” said Lampard.
“We judged it on the oppostion and Tammy came up trumps. Oli produces whenever he plays. But that will be really good for Tammy’s confidence, clearly. You have to work for your goals and he worked for them today, put a lot of effort in.”
What are the odds?
- Arsenal to win 11/4
- Chelsea to win 10/11
- Draw 13/5
What’s our prediction?
You just cannot bank on Arsenal on current form, can you? Chelsea are hardly tearing things up – losing to Wolves and Everton before their 3-0 win over West Ham – but Arsenal are in a genuine crisis period. More misery for Arteta and co. Chelsea to win this one 2-1.