Premier League

Chelsea-Arsenal Preview

Though a managerial change did not bring an immediate victory for Arsenal, it can be argued that there is an equal amount of concern elsewhere in London when it comes to Chelsea's recent form.

Trying again for that first victory under new boss Mikel Arteta, Arsenal aim to push their overall home unbeaten streak over Chelsea to five games when these rivals meet for the first time this season at the Emirates on Sunday.

Arsenal's first Premier League match under Arteta resulted in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day. The Gunners (5-9-5) needed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 12th goal of the season in the 63rd minute just to earn that point.

The Gunners have now drawn their last two league matches, and are 0-2-1 since winning 3-1 at West Ham United on Dec. 9 for their lone top-flight victory over the last 11 contests (1-6-4). Still, Arteta naturally was able to find some positives from the group's latest effort, and feels comfortable and confident moving forward.

Even though reports out of the United Kingdom suggest some Arsenal players are already questioning Arteta, a former Gunners captain, and his tactics.

"I'm very pleased with some of the things I've seen - in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and spirit the team showed," Arteta told Arsenal's official website.

"It will be a process ... Normally, when you are in this process and you concede a goal, the confidence goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back. It didn't happen. It happened in the complete opposite sense and that's a really positive thing to take on board."

The combination of scrounging for a point and Arteta's home managerial debut should add to an already intense atmosphere that usually accompanies an Arsenal-Chelsea Premier League clash. The Gunners lead the all-time series, a reported 76-58-64. However, Chelsea won the most recent meeting, 4-1 in the Europa League final in May.

These clubs split the 2018-19 Premier League series, with each winning at home. Arsenal are 3-1-0 at home over all competitions since losing 1-0 to the Blues at the Emirates on Jan. 24, 2016. Aubameyang has played in three games versus Chelsea and does not have a single goal.

Though Chelsea (10-2-7) enter the final weekend of 2019 top-flight matches fourth in the table, they've lost five of their last seven such contests since that season-high six-game winning streak from Sept. 28-Nov. 9. Their latest setback came Thursday with a 2-0 home defeat to Southampton.

Whilst the thought of losing to a struggling side like the Saints was a problem in itself, failing to score at home for a second consecutive match should be real cause for worry. Thankfully for the Blues, they did win 2-0 at Spurs in their most recent road contest last weekend.

"It was flat, and Boxing Day can bring that a little, but that can't be an excuse for on the pitch," manager Frank Lampard told Chelsea's official website. "Things like shots and crosses get the crowd excited, but we didn't have any clear-cut chances (against Southampton) and we need to show more in terms of bravery and quality on the ball.

"We haven't been clinical in front of the goal. That's something we have to improve on. It's a busy time for everyone, so tiredness isn't an excuse. We just have to learn from this and improve quickly."

Chelsea leader Tammy Abraham has now gone a season-high four straight games without recording any of his team-leading 11 Premier League goals.

Updated December 27, 2019

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