MX23RW : Tuesday, February 18 00:08:08| >> :600:2248524:2248524:
Jan 21, 2020 at 8.15pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 40,577
Jorginho (28' pen.), Azpilicueta (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Martinelli (63'), Bellerin (87')
Luiz (26')

Preview: Chelsea vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, including team news and predicted lineups.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from disappointing results when the London rivals lock horns at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Tuesday night.

The Blues remain fourth in the Premier League table but suffered a 1-0 loss at Newcastle United on Saturday, while Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium.

Match preview

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard applauds on January 11, 2020© Reuters

Chelsea have lost eight of their 23 Premier League matches during the 2019-20 campaign but are still fourth in the table, five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United on the same number of matches. The Red Devils had the chance to close the gap on Sunday but suffered a 2-0 defeat to runaway leaders Liverpool.

It was always going to be a testing season for the Blues when considering Frank Lampard's inexperience at this level, in addition to the fact that they were unable to make signings over the summer due to a transfer ban.

As expected, a young team has struggled to find consistency this season, but a record of 12 wins from 23 matches is relatively strong under the circumstances, and they are in charge of their own destiny when it comes to securing another top-four finish in England's top flight.

There is no question that Lampard would have been disappointed with the defeat at Newcastle, but they had entered the clash at St James' Park off the back of three wins in their last four matches in all competitions.

Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 5, 2020© Reuters

The Blues will follow Tuesday's clash with an FA Cup fourth-round clash against Hull City on Saturday before opening the month of February with a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City.

Lampard's side will then face Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in back-to-back Premier League matches before the small matter of a home game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16.

Incredibly, though, the capital outfit have lost three of their last five home games in the league, with West Ham United, Bournemouth and Southampton all leaving with three points. They also only just overcame Aston Villa on home soil at the start of next month, which shows their issues at Stamford Bridge.

Having had their FIFA-imposed transfer suspension lifted in time for the winter window, it would not be a surprise to see the club strengthen before the end of the month. They are in pole position to secure fourth, though, and that would have to go down as a successful season with the obstacles Lampard has had to face.

Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe celebrates scoring against Manchester United in the Premier League on January 1, 2020© Reuters

Arsenal, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon. Gabriel Martinelli had sent the Gunners ahead on the stroke of the interval, but John Fleck came up with a leveller for Chris Wilder's side, who continue to impress.

The result followed a 1-1 at Crystal Palace the week before, meaning that Arsenal have not actually won in the Premier League since the 2-0 success over Manchester United on New Year's Day.

Like Chelsea, though, Mikel Arteta's side have progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup and will take on struggling Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on January 27.

The Gunners are also back in European action next month as they prepare to take on Greek giants Olympiacos in the last-32 stage of the Europa League. It is not the competition that the club will want to be in, but they will fancy their chances of challenging for the trophy having reached the final last season.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette in action with Manchester United's Nemanja Matic in the Premier League on January 1, 2020© Reuters

Arsenal have actually drawn each of their last four away games in all competitions, including their last three in the Premier League against Everton, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

They have not lost on their travels in England's top flight since a 2-0 reverse at Leicester City on November 9, though, which is perhaps a touch surprising when considering their issues on the road last season.

There have been signs of improvements since Arteta joined the club, but there is no getting away from the fact that they are 10th in the Premier League, 10 points off fourth-placed Chelsea as things stand.

The Gunners are only two points ahead of 14th-placed Burnley, meanwhile, showing that a couple of poor results could quickly see the London giants fall down the table.

It would not be a surprise to see Arsenal improve their squad before the window closes for business, although securing the right type of player for the right price is the problem facing every club in world football.

Chelsea Premier League form: WLWDWL
Chelsea form (all competitions): LWDWWL

Arsenal Premier League form: DDLWDD
Arsenal form (all competitions): DLWWDD

Team News

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sees red on January 11, 2020© Reuters

Chelsea are likely to be without Reece James after the defender went off injured against Newcastle, meaning that Emerson Palmieri could come into the side at left-back as Marcos Alonso is also still unavailable.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic and Marco van Ginkel are also still on the treatment table, but aside from James, Lampard has no fresh concerns ahead of the clash in London.

Mateo Kovacic could again miss out with Mason Mount, Jorginho and N'Golo Kante expected to line up in midfield, while Callum Hudson-Odoi should again feature in the final third of the field.

Kurt Zouma is also pushing for a recall at the expense of Andreas Christensen, but Tammy Abraham should again lead the line despite Michy Batshuayi once more featuring off the bench against Newcastle.

As for Arsenal, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Reiss Nelson are still on the treatment table, while the club's leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will again miss out through suspension.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos did not feature against Sheffield United due to illness, but the centre-back is in line to return on Tuesday night, while Sead Kolasinac could overcome a thigh issue to feature.

There are not expected to be too many changes further forward, though, with Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe expected to start, while Martinelli's goal and positive performance at the weekend could see the 18-year-old keep his spot in the XI.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Saka; Xhaka, Torreira; Martinelli, Ozil, Pepe; Lacazette

Head To Head

Arsenal lead the overall head-to-head 77 wins to Chelsea's 65, while there have also been 57 draws between the London rivals throughout history.

Chelsea have won the last two meetings between the two sides, including a 4-1 victory in last season's Europa League final and a 2-1 success in the reverse Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium.

The Blues also won the last clash between the two sides at Stamford Bridge - a 3-2 success in August 2018 - while Arsenal have not triumphed on the road to their rivals in the league since October 2011.

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We say: Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

Both teams will be desperate to return to winning ways following disappointing results at the weekend, but we are leaning towards a low-scoring draw at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal, even without Aubameyang, are certainly capable of putting in a positive performance against an inconsistent Chelsea side.

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Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring for Chelsea on December 10, 2019
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Combined XI: Chelsea vs. Arsenal
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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City25163665293651
3Leicester CityLeicester26155654262850
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs2611784334940
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2610972824439
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2610883829938
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2681263532336
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2687112440-1631
14Crystal Palace2679102332-930
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2669113138-727
17Aston Villa2674153450-1625
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2566133043-1324
20Norwich CityNorwich2646162448-2418

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