For the first time in a very long time on Sunday, we’ll be seeing how this Thursday night-Sunday afternoon turnaround goes and we probably couldn’t get a tougher test than Chelsea away.
However, the squad eventually managed to keep spirits high by backing up the Bournemouth win on Thursday after having the match delayed for an hour as well as having quite a slow first half.
One positive from the 3-1 victory over Cologne was Alexis Sanchez who played the whole match, but with that in mind it’s not too likely that he’ll be starting tomorrow, Arsene Wenger said:
“He’s still fighting to come back physically.”
One bright spark from Thursday’s game who could feature at Stamford Bridge though is Sead Kolasinac who only played the second half. However, whether that’s in a back three or a back four we’ll have to wait and see as Arsene Wenger had to switch to four at the back when Kolasinac was brought on.
But with us likely to bring our more regular starters into the team Wenger spoke about the benefits of playing with the three that started at the back against Bournemouth by saying:
“Mustafi’s reading the game well, he’s strong in the challenge and likes to talk which is an important quality in that part of the pitch, and on both sides of him we have Koscielny and Monreal who are quite quick and are well balanced.”
Playing with three at the back against Chelsea has worked well for us recently as we beat them on F.A. Cup final day and at the Community Shield employing that system and looking to replicate those performances tomorrow it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see us go for that.
However, even though we’ve won three of our last four against Chelsea, we’re still without a win at Stamford Bridge since that 5-3 thriller in 2011 which saw one Robin van Persie bag a hat trick. So, could with the overall record in our favour and confidence back on our side could this be the best opportunity to get that seemingly elusive W at The Bridge.
The Arsenal boss has described the game as “a mental challenge that we want to get right.” Which hopefully has got across to the players for the game which will be without the arch nemesis of Arsenal for the last couple of years in Diego Costa.
Maybe without the distraction of the want-away on the Arsenal defence this could allow them to concentrate more on the task of stopping goals flying into our net but one thing that won’t change is how much Chelsea will be up for this game, so unlike our last visit to their place we will need to match them in the relevant battles during the game, and with a couple of wins under our belts hopefully this goes better than our trip to Anfield a few weeks ago.