Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits Chelsea striker Diego Costa is a threat ahead of this weekend’s meeting in the Premier League. Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, having failed to win against the Blues in the league since 2011, while falling to the sword at the hands of Costa who has scored two goals and won three of three meetings against the Gunners.
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Arsenal look to end a five-year winless record against Chelsea on Saturday evening, and will fancy their chances of ending the barren run with how poor the Blues’ defence has been in recent weeks. Arsenal have failed to score against Chelsea in their last six Premier League meetings, but their opponents this time out have managed just one clean sheet from seven games in all competitions which suggests goals could come from the Gunners.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a selection headache in attack ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, with Lucas Perez and Alexis Sanchez in the frame to lead the line in Olivier Giroud’s absence.
Summer-signing Lucas scored a brace in the EFL Cup in midweek but has only racked up 64 minutes of Premier League playing time. Alexis Sanchez has been a makeshift centre-forward this season with Giroud sidelined with injury, scoring three goals in five appearances, but the Chilean could well operate in his preferred role out wide.
Arsenal could end the weekend occupying the runners-up spot in the Premier League table if they can win against Chelsea on Saturday evening. The Gunners would also need a helping hand from Middlesbrough, who face third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, and Bournemouth, who face current runners-up Everton, but the chance to bear down on leaders Manchester City this early into the season will delight manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal have five injuries from the first-team ahead of Saturday evening’s Premier League clash with London rivals Chelsea – Carl Jenkinson (ACL), Per Mertesacker (knee), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Danny Welbeck (meniscus), Olivier Giroud (toe) – and manager Arsene Wenger gave his assessment on their chances of featuring this weekend.
“We have no new injuries. Olivier Giroud has a test to see if he can be involved. He had a good training session so he is really the only one who could come back. Aaron Ramsey is still struggling with his hamstring and I don’t think that he will be available for our next game against Basel or at Burnley, so before the international break he will not be available,” Wenger said.
Arsenal’s young striker Chuba Akpom has revealed that he would play in goal if it meant playing more minutes for the Gunners first team.
I doubt Petr Cech or David Ospina’s positions as Arsenal first-choice goalkeepers are under threat, but it’s obvious the youngster wants more first-team football this season.
Akpom made his first start of the campaign in Tuesday night’s 4-0 EFL Cup win against Nottingham Forest, playing in an unfamiliar left-wing position. Talking about the game he told the Arsenal website: ‘I think right now I’d play anywhere,’
Arsenal will be full of confidence ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea given the contrasting performances between the two London side. The Gunners followed up a thrashing of Hull City with a win over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup, scoring eight goals in total, and welcome a Blues outfit having conceded two or more goals in four of their last five in all competitions.
After having bagged his first goal for Arsenal with an audacious strike from distance in Saturday’s thrashing of Hull City, midfielder Granit Xhaka scored again from range in Tuesday’s 4-0 win against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup third round, and the summer-signing has drawn praise from manager Arsene Wenger for his surprise goal-scoring antics.
When asked if he expected the Swiss international to be getting on the scoresheet on a regular basis, Wenger replied: “Honestly? Not really. When we looked at him, I knew he had a good shot but he played very deep last year and he didn’t get forward a lot. I hope that will give him the taste for more.”
Arsenal will face Reading at the Emirates Stadium in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, in a repeat of the 2011/12 League Cup fourth round draw that saw the two sides pitted against each other. Arsenal will book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition with a win over the Royals on Tuesday, October 25, and will be full of confidence given their domestic form.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 21, 2016
Arsenal produced a comfortable 4-0 win at Championship Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of EFL CUP on Tuesday night. Usual Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sacrifices the competition and heavily rotates his squad.
The French did exactly the same last night with the rotation, but unlike previous years it paid off and produced some positives to take from the night.
Lucas Perez made an impact
Summer arrival Lucas Perez really needed to make an impact in last night’s game. The Spaniard did just that by scoring a brace, producing an assist and looking like a constant threat to the Forest defence.