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Arsenal V Chelsea Preview


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Arsenal could end Sunday 4 points clear at the top of the Premiership if things go their way in the Sunday showdown.

With Manchester United travelling to Liverpool and Chelsea visiting the league leaders, Sunday is as appealing as a 4 course meal at your favrouite restaurant, followed by a night of pure passion with a beautiful woman. No? Just me then.

Arsenal will hope that their midweek win over Steaua Bucharest will signal the end of their blip in for which saw them take 4 points from three Premiership games.

Chelsea haven't lost a match since Avram Grant's first game in charge, when they were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

While a weakened Arsenal team beat Steaua on Wednesday, Chelsea managed only a draw against Valencia on Tuesday, and if the highlights are anything to go by, they were lucky to walk away with that.

It will make a change to see a Chelsea team come to Arsenal and attack after seeing Mourinho's team adopt a alightly 'conservative' approach.

With Robin Van Persie back from injury, Arsenal will almost certainly return to a 4-4-2 formation, with Adebayor partnering Van Persie up front.

A loss for Arsenal could see them fall as low as third. However, for that to happen Chelsea would have to win by three goals, and that's just not going to happen.

With Avram Grant now seemingly winning the hearts and minds of his squad, the Chelsea players will be likely be given a boost after finding out that the Chelsea boss signed a new 4-year deal on Thursday.

Vital Quotes:

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has taunted Chelsea by claiming that Manchester United are the biggest threat to Arsenal as they challenge for the Preiership this season: 'It's quite close. Chelsea are just behind us and Manchester United and Liverpool, too.

'But our biggest challengers are Manchester United. That is what I think it will be at the end of the season.

'They have the quality. They win games even when they're playing poorly.

'They have Ronaldo, they have Rooney, they have lots of good strikers who can win games. That's why I think it will be a battle between us and them.'

Something we didn't think would happen six months ago - Shevchenko in a confident mood: "It was the manager`s decision to take me off. I think it was important that everyone played in a game which was not so vital.

"For me, it`s important when the manager gives me a chance to play. I can then prepare myself to give my best.

"I don`t know if I will play on Sunday, it`s up to the manager. But I feel good and I hope to play because it`s a very important game.

"I try to play every game to my best and always work hard for the team. It was the same in my first season and now my second season. Every game I feel that I am getting better."

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal still have doubts over the fitness of midfield trio Cesc Fabregas, Alex Hleb and The Flamster.

All three have a chance to return, but will have to face a fitness test on Saturday.

Van Persie should start his first Premiership game for over two months alongside Adebayor.

Diaby also returns.

Player to watch: Van Persie

The Dutchman looked suprisingly sharp on Wednesday, which would suggest that Wenger has kept him training rather than rush him back. Probably with this game in mind.

He's making all the right noises for me. Let's hope he can walk the walk as well as talk the talk on Sunday.

Chelsea Team News:

Didier Drogba will be missing for The Blues. Ballack is also still short of fitness.

Player to watch: Kalou

This lad has impressed me since he arrived at Chelsea. He will pose a bigger threat to Arsenal's goal than Shevchenko.

Match Prediction:

I think the top of the Premiership will look much the same come monday night. 0-0 for both of the big Sunday games.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday December 14 2007
Time: 1:20PM


Kalou hasnt looked very impressive so far this season, simmo. Good to have the RVP ade combination back, I think they have the nmakings of a fine partnership. A pity that injuries havent seen that developing as much as it could. I have a feeling either Cesc or Hleb will play - the Boss is simply keeping his cards close to his chest.
14/12/2007 13:30:00
if neither hleb cesc or mattuso return (lets hope this doesnt happen..) then what will or midfield be... Rosicky Diarra Gilberto Walcott ??????????? Or will diaby or denilson slot in somewhere???... on the left with tommy providing some creative spark in the centre....????
14/12/2007 14:15:00
arsenal to nick it.. i hv a good feeling on this one.. its been a long time since we beat chelsea and sunday is our time.. late goals in each half to give us a 2-0 win
14/12/2007 14:54:00
Arsene said he wouldn't risk all 4 returning in the starting lineup. Makes me think he'll start with Flam/Fab in a 4-5-1 with Ade upfront, and keep both RVP & Hleb on the bench as weapons for later to shoot the Chavs down. 2-0 to the Gunners!!!
14/12/2007 15:43:00
i rekon arsenal could nick it there playin mint at the moment and i agree mcgooner
14/12/2007 15:44:00
They don't have Grogba, and the 6-0 whopping of Citeh notwithstanding, they're still playing some ugly crap. We will win 2-0 if they come to defend, and if we score early and force them to come out and play, we'll feed them a 4-1.
14/12/2007 15:54:00
nick to nick it me thinks
14/12/2007 17:25:00
Arsenal have scored as many goals in Premier League matches this term as Chelsea have scored and conceded combined (33). take that to mean whatever i does...
14/12/2007 20:14:00
McGooner 2-0 sounds delicious to me and statistics would suggest the same...Boasting the sharpest attack in the highest league of 33 goals in 16 outings, at one every 44 minutes on average. so for the neutrals you know when to expect a goal from us. chelsea have a very stingy defence so for us to win we must be absolutely clinical...
14/12/2007 20:22:00
its certainly gonna be a super sunday thats for certain but for me id have to go...chelsea 2-2 arsenal
14/12/2007 20:56:00
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