The North London derby over the years has seen Chelsea have the edge over Arsenal with the Gunners just winning one out of nine games in the past three years. The odds and statistics favour Chelsea to edge out Arsenal yet again this weekend but certain occurrence of events have tipped the scales in Arsenal’s favour. Jose Mourinho’s confirmation that the duo of Willian and Pedro will be unavailable for the match against Arsenal was music to my ears as an Arsenal fan.
Chelsea winger Willian was forced to come off in the 23rd minute after what looked like a muscle injury while Pedro Rodriguez is still yet to recover from his injury suffered against Everton. Prior to his injury, Willian was very lively and influential in the match against Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the Brazilian won a penalty for the Blues as well as getting on the score sheet, as his pace and skill proved to be too difficult to handle. Having a player with such ability out against Arsenal should delight my fellow Arsenal fans as well as the unavailability of Pedro.
Both Pedro and Willian are part of the few Chelsea players who have showed few sparks of brilliance in a rather dull Chelsea team this season. Being without this pair against Arsenal gives the Gunners the advantage and the importance of capitalising on this weakness cannot be over-stressed. The Gunners have no excuse not to win the match against Chelsea as the Gunners have been presented with a golden opportunity to capitalise on a weakened Chelsea side.
Apart from the fact that Chelsea are without their key players, the Gunners need to make up for their woeful defeat against Dinamo Zagreb with a win over Chelsea. Only a win against rivals Chelsea can make me forgive the team for such an awful display against Dinamo Zagreb. With Chelsea’s terrible defending and loss of much needed pace in their attack, failure to beat Chelsea on Saturday is intolerable.