Chelsea vs Arsenal
|Date & Time||Sunday August 2, 2015, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Arsenal 19/10 Draw 5/2 Chelsea 6/4
Bt Sport; Fox Sport
On Sunday the 2nd of August Arsenal and Chelsea will go head to head in the first official game of the FA calender. Arsenal as FA Cup winners will be looking to retain the trophy they won last season when they destroyed Manchester City 3-0, that was a prelude to the season ahead as City struggled through the year and never quite looked likely to retain their Premier League crown. Arsenal had a terrible start to the season and did finish the season strong again but never really were involved in the title race. This year though Arsene Wenger has a side that looks capable of challenging Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs for the Premier League title. Wenger has balance throughout his side and depth as well with players capable of cover all through the side, the biggest addition though in the offseason was the capture of Petr Cech from ironically Chelsea, the Czech international is worth at least 10 points to Arsenal as he is among the top five goalkeepers in the world and at 33 is only coming into his prime as a goalkeeper. With Cech in the nets and an attacking midfield of Ozil, Ramsey and Cazorla and Sanchez this could be one of the best Arsenal teams entering a season in years, in fact not since Henry, Pires, Viera and co were together have Arsenal had so much talent in the squad. It's an exciting time to be an Arsenal fan.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourhino loves to talk and he wins most of the psychological battles with his opponents , on Sunday he faces Arsene Wenger, who has never managed to beat Mourhino in a competitive fixture. Funnily though this could be a case of mouthing pressure on Mourhino to continue this unbelievable streak. Chelsea maybe without Diego costa as the Spanish forward picked up a niggle in their last pre season game against Barcelona. Costa looked sharp in the game and he was terrific last season in his first year in the Premier League scoring twenty goals. With Costa possibly missing the game it opens the door for Falcao to prove himself at Stamford Bridge, the former Manchester United, Porto, Athletico Madrid striker has struggled to return to his brilliant best but has shown signs on the pre season tour of being sharp. Mourhino may just be the man to bring the best out of Falcao. Star man for the blues though is Eden Hazard and he will be the key if Chelsea are to repeat as Champions, Hazard's ability is top notch, he is one of the top ten players in the world and a joy to watch.
These two match up really well and while there is an abundance of attacking players on both squads it could be too of the defensive players that make the difference here. Matic is Chelsea's brilliant defensive midfielder and the standard bearer for defensive midfielders in the Premier League but Arsenal's Coquelin is quickly forging a name for being up there with the very best. Whichever midfielder rules the roost on Sunday could determine which side comes away with a victory here. For me I have been more impressed with what Arsenal have been doing in the preseason and getting the Gunners at a slight dog here I'm going to take them. Wenger needs this win just to put Mourhino in his place and I think the Arsenal boss gets it.