It’s that time again, the biggest club in London goes face to face with the current Premier League Champions. Arsenal and Chelsea have just lost their first league games of the season and are both looking to bounce back in an eagerly anticipated battle at Stamford Bridge. Each club, while contrasting in football philosophies have great players, capable of winning the lot. The Blues have the most feared player in the Gunners mind, Didier Drogba. He’s big, strong and at the age of 32, still has the pace to ghost past defenders. His temperament has been questioned lately, but his talent is known to all. Not to mention the fabulous record he has against Arsenal.
Arsenal will be missing their midfield matador in Cesc Fabregas, and Chelsea missing Frank Lampard. Kalou and Benayoun are out for Chelsea, and Van Persie and Walcott are still on the comeback trail. These players will be a big miss, but new heros can rise, assembling cult status’s among fans. It really is an exciting time to be a fan of either team. Chelsea are looking to build on their recent success, with Malouda becoming the best left-sided midfielder in the country. He is fortunate to have a ‘footballistically’ speaking, amazing left back behind him in Ashley Cole, who himself formed sumptuous partnerships with his former teammates Robert Pires and Thierry Henry.
Arsenal have a young gem in Jack Wilshere. This kid, whose talent truly astounds me, at the age of eighteen, playing back-heels in back to back Champions League games is exciting. However, he’ll be up against a midfield of Essien and Mikel, who can pass and move, a surprise despite their huge frames. Wilshere will need the help of his teammates, who should provide him enough of the ball, so he doesn’t go missing like at Anfield. Unfortunately, there is huge pressure on him to become the next best thing out of England, and the microscope will be on Jack Wilshere’s game. I remember Lionel Messi as young as Jack coming to the Bridge and stamping his mark on world football. Maybe Wilshere is looking to do the same?
What is interesting to note is that Chelsea are the heaviest team in the Premier League, whereas Arsenal are the lightest. In the wild, the gazelle is a nimble animal that is constantly trying to outsmart and outrun the lion, who is the strongest. Chelsea hunt for the ball in packs and attack with pure power, with rip-roaring speed. Arsenal have been accused of having a soft centre in the past, are they going to make the same defensive mistakes again? And can they finally beat the Kings of the Jungle with their own brand of overpassing, fluid football? Questions that will be answered come Sunday tea-time.
I think the players to watch on each team is Drogba for Chelsea and Sami Nasri for Arsenal. Both are in a rich vein of form, and are important to each team functioning effectively. I’m going 2-1 to Arsenal!