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Arsenal vs. Chelsea match thread: just down the way

Away London derbies are always tricky

Chelsea FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Arsenal travel across London to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Gunners are tied atop the Premier League table with Tottenham, Chelsea are mired in 11th. The North London clubs are unbeaten in the league this season, the only two clubs with unblemished records. The Blues, on the other hand, have yet to hit their stride under Mauricio Pochettino. The Blues have played one of the easiest schedules in the Premier League thus far and earned middling results 3W, 2D, 3L.

Arsenal have won the last three Premier League matches with Chelsea, albeit against three different managers, and six of the last seven. They’ve never won four straight but could do so today. They also have a shot at becoming the first team to ever win their first four away matches without conceding a goal in any of them.

Chelsea have won their past two matches. They haven’t won three in a row since the start of last season. The Blues’ recent success comes largely on the back of finally finding a bit of scoring form: Chelsea scored five goals in six matches to open the season but scored a combined six in their two recent wins.

Malo Gusto returns to the squad for Chelsea after serving a 3-match ban for a red card. His inclusion might be a good thing for Arsenal — the French fullback has a tendency to put in a rash challenge and get himself into trouble. It remains to be seen whether Gusto will be needed to cover for Reece James, who faces a late fitness test to determine his availability after missing the last two months. Axel Disasi and Nicolas Jackson are doubts — both picked up injuries on international duty. Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo played late in the international window in South America, so they may not be rested enough to start. Armando Broja, Trevoh Chalobah, Carney Chukwuemeka, Ben Chilwell, Christopher Nkunku, Wesley Fofana and Romeo Lavia are all expected to miss out.

Arsenal’s injury list is considerably shorter. Both Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard are question marks with hamstring issues. William Saliba, who has been nursing a toe injury and stayed home from France duty, is a concern but should be available. Jurrien Timber is out long-term recovering from an ACL tear.

On paper, this is a match Arsenal have a good shot of winning. but that all goes out the window in London derbies. That said, the Gunners did have a perfect record in London derbies last season. Chelsea have plenty of talent in their lineup, and Pochettino is a good manager. They’re going to put it together at some point this season and become a solid team. Hopefully today isn’t that day.

Arsenal - Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Jorginho, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Chelsea - Sanchez, Gusto, Thiago Silva, Colwill, Cucurella, Gallagher, Caicedo, Enzo, Palmer, Sterling, Mudryk

WHAT: Arsenal at Chelsea
WHERE: Stamford Bridge
WHEN: Saturday, October 21st 9:30 am PT | 12:30 pm ET | 5:30 pm BT

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