Mikel Arteta will be hoping to secure his first win as Arsenal manager when he takes charge of his maiden game at the Emirates against London rivals Chelsea.
Following a three-and-a-half-year spell as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant at Manchester City, Arteta was handed the reins at his former club Arsenal last week, succeeding Unai Emery and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg in the hot seat.
Arteta’s first game in charge saw Arsenal come from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelled out Dan Gosling’s opener.
Although Arteta would have been hoping to get off to a winning start, he would have been more pleased at his team’s performance than Frank Lampard, who watched his Chelsea side lose 2-0 to relegation-threatened Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
When is Arsenal vs. Chelsea and what TV channel is it on?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Sunday, 29 December 2019
Kick-off: 2:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): The game will be shown on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 1.00 PM.
Last five meetings: Arsenal vs. Chelsea
29 May 2019: Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (Europa League)
19 Jan 2019: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (Premier League)
18 Aug 2018: Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal (Premier League)
24 Jan 2018: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Carabao Cup)
10 Jan 2018: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal (Carabao Cup)
Aggregate Score: Arsenal (LWLWD) 7-8 Chelsea (WLWLD)
Ones to watch
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette
For whatever reason, Ljungberg just didn’t seem to rate Alexandre Lacazette as the Frenchman started just twice in Arsenal’s five Premier League matches under the Swede.
Lacazette was left on the bench completely during Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham and their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, but he was recalled to the starting line-up in Arteta’s first game.
Although Lacazette wasn’t on the scoresheet at the Vitality Stadium he played the full game and fired off four shots overall, two of which were on target. The Frenchman has a point to prove, starting against Chelsea on Sunday.
Key stat: Alexandre Lacazette had four efforts on goal against Bournemouth on Boxing Day – only against Spurs (six) and Crystal Palace (five) has he had more attempts in a Premier League game this season.
Chelsea: Mason Mount
Lampard made three changes from the Chelsea side that comprehensively beat Spurs 2-0 before Christmas for the game against Southampton with Mason Mount one of those to drop down to the bench.
Chelsea sorely missed Mount’s cuteness on the ball and his pressing intensity off it on Boxing Day, hence Lampard’s decision to throw him on at half-time and he is almost certain to return against Arsenal.
Mount has been one of the stars of Chelsea’s first half of the campaign and his link-up play with Tammy Abraham in attack will be key to his team’s chances of securing a positive result.
Key stat: Only leading goalscorer Tammy Abraham (55) has had more shots on goal than Mason Mount (50) in Chelsea’s squad this season.
🚨 Two changes from Boxing Day
➡️ Chambers, Guendouzi
⬅️ Sokratis, Xhaka#ARSCHE
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 29, 2019
Our 11 to face Arsenal! 👊
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 29, 2019
Neither side comes into this one in particularly good form, with Arsenal winning only one of their previous six Premier League games and Chelsea losing four of their last six in the competition.
Chelsea‘s last two games suggest that they are perhaps better equipped to trouble fellow top teams than smaller clubs in the division after they followed up a fantastic performance and win against Spurs with a disappointing defeat to Southampton.
Arsenal are sure to be up for the challenge, though, ahead of Arteta’s first home game in the dugout. Arteta’s homecoming is sure to provide a boost to a home support which has shown apathy for much of the campaign.
An entertaining score draw looks to be on the cards.
Scoreline prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea
Check out more of Squawka’s Premier League predictions here.