Chelsea host Arsenal in the first part of Super Sunday today knowing a victory will heap more pressure on Arsene Wenger’s shoulders. Arsenal have not won any of the last 13 Premier League away games against last season’s top-six teams and have suffered defeats on seven of their last eight visits to Stamford Bridge.
Wenger last tasted victory on the road against one of the big boys nearly 1000 days ago when they saw off Manchester City 2-0 in 2015.
Despite winning the FA Cup in May, the heat is already being turned up on Wenger after the Gunners suffered two straight league defeats on the road against Liverpool and Stoke. The last time they lost their opening three league away games was in 1954.
Chelsea – the Premier League champions – have been ticking over nicely since their opening weekend defeat at home to Burnley. Victories against Tottenham, Everton and Leicester followed which have put Antonio Conte’s men in a strong position going into this intriguing clash.
Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater is expected to be out until the October international break. Drinkwater was an unused substitute against his former club Leicester last Saturday and missed the midweek Champions League win over Qarabag with a calf problem which means he could be out for four weeks.
Chelsea are likely to rotate their options after making changes for the Qarabag contest, with playmaker Eden Hazard in contention to start for the Blues for the first time this season.
Arsenal are likely to recall a host of first-team regulars for the short trip. Wenger made nine alterations for the Europa League win over Cologne but the likes of Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette will all return to the squad at Stamford Bridge.
Alexis Sanchez will feature after playing the whole game on Thursday night, where Theo Walcott (calf) hobbled off. Francis Coquelin (hamstring) and Santi Cazorla (ankle) are definitely out.
After winning just four of the previous 16, Chelsea have won their last five home Premier League games against Arsenal, since a 3-5 defeat in October 2011. The Gunners haven’t kept a Premier League clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in their last 12 visits there, shipping at least twice in each of the eight.
Arsenal have lost their last five away Premier League games versus Chelsea, their joint-longest away losing run in the competition against a single opponent (also 5 in a row vs Man Utd between 2009-2013).
Chelsea have scored in 23 successive Premier League games at Stamford Bridge with over half of these (12) seeing them score three or more goals.
Arsenal last won a Premier League away game against a side that finished in the top six last season, back in January 2015 (2-0 at Man City) – they’ve since lost eight and drawn five of their 13 matches on the road against these clubs.