Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Mind Series charity event this afternoon as preparations for the new Premier League season continues.
The Gunners’ pre-season hasn’t quite gone down as planned. We were scheduled to head to America to take part in the Florida Cup last month, but issues caused due to the pandemic forced us to withdraw.
Arsenal have since played two friendlies at London Colney, first against Milwall and then against newly-promoted Watford. We battered both sides 4-1, but the game against Chelsea today will surely be a tougher test.
The Mind Series: Predicted Arsenal XI vs Chelsea
The new Premier League season is just under two weeks away and we expect Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven today to be very close to the one he’ll name for our opening game against Brentford.
Bernd Leno will start in goal with Cedric Soares, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and Kieran Tierney likely to feature in front of him.
Ben White, who joined the Gunners earlier this week, is unlikely to play today. He has only had one training session with the group, and the game against Tottenham next week would be much more ideal for him to make his debut.
In midfield, we expect Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny to be given the nod. The Ghanaian has to deliver this season after an injury-hit campaign last time. He has been excellent in pre-season so far, and if he can perform the same way today, we should dominate the game against Chelsea.
Our new number 10, Emile Smith Rowe, will likely start in attacking midfield. He had a phenomenal impact when he burst onto the scene last season, and with expectations a lot higher this time around, it will be interesting to see if he can deliver.
In attack, we expect Arteta to go all out. Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe are likely to start. Our skipper is yet to find his form, but the other two have been brilliant in pre-season so far.
If Auba can grab himself a goal or two against Chelsea today, he will surely have his confidence back. That could prove to be a game-changer for us ahead of the start of what is arguably our most important season in the Premier League era.
Here’s how we think Arsenal will lineup against Chelsea