Arsenal vs Chelsea on Sky: Aubameyang a doubt

Team news and stats ahead of Arsenal vs Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.

Team news

Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of their Boxing Day Premier League clash with London rivals Chelsea.

The forward has missed the last two games with a calf injury and boss Mikel Arteta will be keen to have him back as the Gunners look to address their poor run of form.

Thomas Partey (thigh) is expected to miss out again but fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka is available having served a three-match ban and Gabriel Martinelli is likely to be fit after limping off against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Chelsea will hand late fitness tests to full-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James ahead of the Emirates Stadium encounter.

Chilwell has an ankle issue and James a knee problem, and the England stars could miss both the Arsenal clash and Monday’s Stamford Bridge meeting with Aston Villa.

Hakim Ziyech is also still sidelined with a hamstring injury but is closing in on a return to action.

How to follow


Live Premier League

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Arsenal vs Chelsea will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off at 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Watch the Premier League live on Sky Sports

At least 146 Premier League games will be shown live on Sky Sports in the 2020/21 season. The Premier League has further increased the number of televised games this season from 200 to 231, with over half of the extra fixtures set to be shown live on Sky Sports.

Overall, Sky Sports will be showing at least 146 Premier League matches live throughout the 2020/21 season, continuing to bring you all the latest twists, turns and shocks at the home of the Premier League. There will also be two additional midweek programmes – one will be played across the weeks commencing January 11 and 18 and the second will be in the week commencing May 10. All of these games will be broadcast live.

You can also follow the action with our dedicated live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch free match highlights from every game shortly after full-time on our digital platforms and YouTube channel.

Jones Knows Prediction

Arsenal are on the ropes. They have been battered from pillar to post this week. Right-hook, left-hook – is Mikel Arteta just one uppercut away from a knockout blow? Potentially.

However, rejoice Arsenal fans, the next few paragraphs will be a break from the negative and emotive narrative.

I just simply can’t have Chelsea at odds-on. The bet has to be Arsenal at 3/1 for their fortunes to change and record a season-changing home win.

Yes, they haven’t won in seven Premier League games, including losing four of their last five at home. But, there is a difference in this fixture to those defeats: the expectation is all on Chelsea. Arteta’s controlled and rigid style of football is absolutely suited to soaking up pressure against so-called superior teams. They are hard to break down.

Let’s not forget, Arsenal have won six of their last 10 games in all competitions vs ‘big six’ sides since July 15, including their last Premier League victory at Manchester United, who have won six of their last seven matches since that defeat.

Since the turn of the year, Frank Lampard’s team have only won five Premier League games away from Stamford Bridge – 11 teams have won more. It is a run of results backed up by their numbers in attack. For example, in their six games on the road this season, their expected goals figure is just 7.54 – only Burnley, Newcastle, Wolves, Sheffield United and West Brom have a lower total on the road.

Even against West Ham on Monday, Chelsea looked devoid of ideas. That scoreline flattered them.

Defensively, Arsenal have the structure and tactical nous to frustrate the Blues. Arteta’s boys have the sixth-best defensive record in the Premier League this season, a figure backed up by their ‘expected goals against’ metric which again has them the sixth-best defence in the division. Chelsea statistically possess the best defence so this has the hallmarks of a low-scoring encounter that could be settled by one moment of individual quality.

Each week the betting markets move in Arsenal’s direction – they went off favourites last weekend at Everton – and this just might be the time to catch them at a monstrous price.

In tight games of this nature, one team shouldn’t be as big as 3/1 and the 7/1 for an Arsenal win and under 2.5 goals should be taken seriously.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • Arsenal lost this exact fixture 1-2 last season, despite being 1-0 ahead until the 83rd minute. They’ve not lost back-to-back home league games against Chelsea since November 2009.
  • Chelsea have lost just two of their last 17 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W9 D6), with both of those defeats coming at the Emirates (0-3 in September 2016, 0-2 in January 2019).
  • The side scoring first won none of the three meetings in all competitions between Arsenal and Chelsea last season (D1 L2), with Arsenal coming from behind to win the FA Cup final in the most recent encounter.
  • Arsenal haven’t lost any of their last 12 Boxing Day home games (W10 D2) since a 0-2 loss against Nottingham Forest in 1987. The Gunners have won each of their last nine such games in the Premier League, including a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in 2001.
  • Chelsea lost 0-2 against Southampton on Boxing Day last season, ending a run of 14 games without defeat on 26th December (W9 D5). The Blues haven’t lost consecutive Boxing Day matches since 1994/1995.
  • Arsenal are winless in their last seven Premier League games (D2 L5) – only once in the competition’s history have they had a longer run without a win, going eight games between November 1992-January 1993.

Pitch to Post Review: What if Man Utd actually clicked? Plus: Arteta’s stats debunked

Manchester United are in contention having barely performed this season – how good could they be if they actually clicked?

In the last Pitch to Post Review of 2020, Jasper Taylor is joined by Gerard Brand and Ben Ransom to discuss Manchester United’s chaotic 6-2 win over Leeds, and whether in fact Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are title contenders (04:12). As for Leeds, we analyse Marcelo Bielsa’s unapologetic style, and whether it can last (13:00).

The shambles at Arsenal continues as they are beaten at Everton, and after Mikel Arteta channels his inner Rafa Benitez with a list of statistics, the panel provide some other damning metrics (16:47).

In the Regional Review, Adam Bate discusses West Brom, Aston Villa and Wolves (32:59), and in part four we look at Tottenham’s defeat by Leicester as Jose Mourinho was played at his own game to cap off a bad week (42:36).

Download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on Apple | Spotify

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