North London Derby: preview of Arsenal vs. Chelsea

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Robin Soderling

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  • North London Derby: preview of Arsenal vs. Chelsea

North London Derby: preview of Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Most of the matches were postponed last week in the Premier League due to unfavourable weather conditions. Chelsea was due to play Manchester United last week after they had played 1-1 draw against Tottenham. Coming Monday Chelsea is clashing with Arsenal at the Emirates. Chelsea will be thinking themselves lucky as they got a break from a big encounter after the match was postponed till Tuesday, March 1 2010. It will be the second time in this season that Arsenal will be competing Chelsea. In the first clash Chelsea won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, Alex’s power shot from a set piece was unstoppable and earned Chelsea crucial three points.

North London giant clubs will be clashing for 175th time; both the teams have bitter rivalry among each other. Captain Cesc Fabregas for the gunners accepted that their mental strength to play against big matches is lacking. He continued expressing his views and said “Sometimes we seem scared of losing these big games. We don't really go for it and we're tempted to drop back and see what the opposition will do.” On the other hand Chelsea is all set for the Christmas cracker despite the fact that they are not performing the way they wanted. They have managed two wins in their last eight matches. Chelsea started the season like the true champions however some major injuries fiddled their progress.

Injury News

John Terry missed some important games after his injury. Chelsea was vulnerable in his absence however with the captain coming back in the team, men in blue remains the meanest defense line. Frank Lampard, the heartbeat of Chelsea line will be starting against Arsenal. Lampard was injured and is returning with his full fitness. Alex is still out of action due to his leg injury, Benayoun is suffering with Achilles and Zhirkov has still not recovered from his calf injury. The bench strength for Chelsea gives them liberty to shuffle their playing eleven and they might not be much bothered with the injured players at the moment.

Arsenal has missed their ace star Spaniard Cesc Fabregas in this season however he is fit for the match against Chelsea. Thomas Vermaelen is still out of play suffering from Achilles; center defender played his last match in August this season. First choice keeper Manuel Almunia suffered an elbow injury against West Brom and is out of the action since then. The latest player to get injured was Kieren Gibbs. He limped off when he got a blow on his ankle earlier this month. Arsenal has a young camp and whit some injuries they get very fragile, especially against better teams.

Players to Watch

Didier Drogba

Drogba remains constant nightmare for the Arsenal Team. He is prolific with his extra ordinary goal scoring abilities however Arsenal remains his favorite opposition. In this season Drogba has netted eight times. He is brilliant and lethal on the counters with his pace. Defenders have to find a method to block him and if caught napping, Drogba can punish hard.

Samir Nasri

Frenchman Nasri has evolved into a nice team member and an all rounder. He has performed really well in the absence of Cesc Fabregas. He has capacity to play on the wings and if required he can be used has a play maker from the center half position. Samir Nasri has added a new dimension in his game play and has scored eight times in this season.



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