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This is probably the most notable pre-season friendly so far as London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea go head-to-head at the Emirates.
Friendlies are often difficult to assess as both managers will still be using this as an opportunity to try out some of their new talent and will be more concerned with players picking up match-fitness after some time off rather than the actual result, though bragging rights in some capacity is certainly on the cards.
These two sides have somewhat drifted apart in recent years, with Chelsea still maintain their status as one of the best clubs in England with a top four finish, FA Cup final and Champions League trophy from last season, while Arsenal are still desperately trying to re-establish themselves as a force in England’s top flight.
The Gunners have missed out on Champions League football for five successive seasons now and have finished as low as eighth in each of the last two, though they’ve do have a strong recent record against the Blues.
They’ve lost just three of the last 14 meetings across all competitions, winning each of the last three and this will certainly be the fixture that Thomas Tuchel will be looking to gain six points on last season’s tally.
Chelsea To Win And Over 2.5 Goals
Chelsea have been uncharacteristically quiet so far in the transfer market, with ex Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli the only arrival to date.
However, their strength in depth helped them to lift the Champions League trophy and with the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Hakim Ziyech with a year of Premier League experience under their belts, they’ll undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with this year.
The hosts haven’t had the best pre-season thus far, losing to Hibernian before picking up a fighting draw against Rangers, though they did bounce back with a 4-1 win over Watford, even if the goal they conceded was from recognisably calamitous defending.
Chelsea have played just once in pre-season and thanks to two second half goals from Armando Broja and Ike Ugbo they managed a 2-1 win over Scott Parker’s Cherries, though again these games are more about getting minutes in the legs of players.
On balance, Chelsea have the stronger squad and that strength in depth should serve them well here with fringe players likely to be on centre stage here.
They haven’t lost a friendly since 2016, winning 11 of those 13 matches and all but one of those wins seeing over 2.5 goals land, while Arsenal have seen that same outcome in 11 of their last 14 club friendlies, including in a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in 2017.