(STATS) – Whilst Arsenal are unbeaten within the Premier League on the new year, beating rivals Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge, could again be a chore for the Gunners.
Looking to keep the host Blues from doing the season-series double, Arsenal aim to snap an eight-game winless run at the Bridge on Tuesday night.
Since losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea (12-3-8) on Dec. 29, Arsenal (6-11-6) are 2-1-0. However, they have just two league wins over the last 15 such contests (2-8-5), and sit 10th in the Premier League table. Manager Mikel Arteta was not pleased that his Gunners allowed an 83rd-minute goal on Saturday, and had to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield United.
“In the Premier League, if you don’t put the game to bed, then in the last 10 or 15 minutes this type of team just need a long ball, a second ball, a set piece, and you can give the points away. That’s it,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.
Despite giving away three points late Saturday, Arsenal players still believe in themselves as a collective.
“I feel that we are united,” Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi said. “I think we stay together and the dressing room has always been (on) top during good and bad periods. That’s the only way to get out of it, and I think if we want to be successful, we need to stick together – players, staff and everyone at the club.”
Arsenal know that unity will be essential for this mid-week clash against one of their biggest London rivals. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners up 1-0 on 13 minutes versus Chelsea at the Emirates last month. However, the clubs’ inability to hold a lead reared its ugly head when Jorginho equalised in the 83rd minute and Tammy Abraham put the Blues ahead with a goal four minutes later.
The victory was Chelsea’s second straight over all competitions versus Arsenal, who could have an even bigger task knowing they are 0-2-6 overall at Stamford Bridge since last winning there Oct. 29, 2011. Not having star and goal-leader Aubameyang (14 goals) whilst he remains suspended, certainly won’t help the cause.
However, youngster Gabriel Martinelli, who scored his ninth goal over all competitions against Sheffield United, could again have an opportunity shine in a Premier League match.
Fourth-place Chelsea might be 10 points better than Arsenal at the moment, but they are looking to bounce back from a frustrating result of their own. Whilst the Gunners managed to earn a point over the weekend, the Blues gave away the full three by conceding a goal in the 94th minute to fall 1-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday.
The setback halted Chelsea’s three-game Premier League unbeaten stretch, but also gives Frank Lampard’s squad some fuel to rebound – and take out their collective frustration amidst a derby sett
“Keep your heads up,” Abraham, who has a team-leading 15 goals over all competitions, told Chelsea’s official website. “We’ve got another massive game on Tuesday, and we just have to take our anger out against Arsenal.”
Chelsea last lost consecutive league games Dec. 7 and 14.