As the Barclay’s Premier League season winds down, there are fewer and fewer games of this magnitude. However, the match this weekend between Arsenal and Chelsea might be one of the last high stakes matches left. A Chelsea victory would all about wrap up the title, and an Arsenal victory would give the Gunners a false sense of hope of catching the Blues.
There are several key figures that will be instrumental in deciding the outcome of the game. First and most importantly, Jose Mourinho. He is the man with the plan this season for the Blues. A world renown tactician with a strong touchline presence. The Chelsea boss has been integral for the West Londoners this season, picking perfect teams, and setting them up the best way possible to obtain all three points.
Knowing Mourinho, there is a good chance that we will play this game similar to how we played against Manchester United. Chelsea will set up defensively, basically to absorb Arsenal pressure. This will be natural for both teams, as Arsenal look to have a lot of possession throughout the game. Chelsea will defend strongly and look to catch Arsenal on the counter attack. This is an area where the Gunners are definitely vulnerable, and Chelsea are one of the best counter attacking teams in the world. Players like Matic, Hazard and Courtois will need inspired performances if the Blues are to beat Arsenal
Another key for the Blues will be Eden Hazard. I feel like we say this before every game, yet the Belgian remains our most important player every time the team steps on the pitch. His ability to quickly fuel counter attacks is what makes Jose’s strategy possible. Hazard’s goal last weekend is a picturesque example of this. The Belgian lead Chelsea to three points rather than one.
Another player to watch out for is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been brilliant for Arsenal this season. He has a knack for getting on the scoresheet, and inspiring his team to victories. He was also nominated as PFA Player of the Year this season, as he’s been Arsenal’s best player. Marking the Chilean will be vital to Chelsea’s victory on Sunday.
Overall, it’s bound to be a testy affair at the weekend. The game always has a derby feeling too it, but this is Arsenal’s last ditch effort at the title. Three points are so vital to both teams, and at the end of the day, anything other than a loss favors Chelsea. Maybe we will even see Wenger leave his technical area again. Either way, the battle for London this weekend will be a game to watch.