Chelsea vs Arsenal: 5 Key Battles That Could Decide London Derby

Chelsea vs Arsenal: 5 Key Battles That Could Decide London Derby

Elijah Odetokun
updated at October 20, 2023 at 3:06 PM
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  • Chelsea will host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in a highly anticipated match
  • The Gunners have been a more stable team than their rivals since last season
  • Both teams have some key players missing, but some fantastic battles will decide the game

The first London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal is almost upon us at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, a game that players and fans keenly look forward to.

Arsenal were last season's Premier League runners-up, while the Blues had their worst season in two decades, finishing 12th after having four different managers manage at least a game.

Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard, Wesley Fofana, Mateo Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Raheem Sterling, Chelsea, Arsenal.
Martin Odegaard scored twice in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Chelsea last season. Photo by Shaun Botterill.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at five key battles on the pitch that could decide the match's outcome, with both teams missing important players.

1. Bukayo Saka vs Levi Colwill

As reported by Mirror UK, Arteta did not give much away over the involvement of Saka, but if fit, he will square up against Colwill, who has been playing as a left-back for Chelsea. This is an area where Arsenal have been dangerous, and the defender must come out on top to reduce their opponents' chances.

2. Gabriel Martinelli vs Chelsea RB

There is massive uncertainty over who starts for Chelsea at right-back. According to Football London, Pochettino declared captain Reece James a doubt but could feature. Malo Gusto is back from suspension, while Marc Cucurella has impressed as a makeshift. Whoever stars will have their hands full against Brazilian winger Martinelli.

3. Enzo, Caicedo vs Rice, Odegaard

The midfield will be where the game will most likely be won or lost. Three £100 million+ midfielders, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice, will be on the field. Whichever team's duo comes out on top could decide victory for them.

4. Cole Palmer vs Oleksandr Zinchenko

Summer recruit Cole Palmer has been deployed on the right wing since he arrived from Manchester City. He will square off against Ukrainian fullback Zinchenko, who is not one of the best 1v1 defenders in the league. If the 21-year-old is allowed to flex his creative muscles, he could earn Chelsea a shot at victory.

5. Nicolas Jackson vs William Saliba

Both players have been declared as fitness doubts for their respective teams, but if passed fit, their battle will be one to look out for. Saliba has not been dribbled past this season and bullied Erling Haaland in the last game. Jackson's quick feet and trickery will be tested against one of the best defenders in the league.

Pochettino looks forward to Arsenal

Sports Brief reported on Pochettino addressing Chelsea fans on what to expect from the players when they take on last season's Premier League runners-up Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

He acknowledged that their rivals are in a different level of process to his team, and how they fare against a more mature side will tell a lot about how far they have progressed.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
Stamford Bridge