Saturday August 18th 2018
By Aiden Graw
Arsenal manager Unai Emery expects Mesut Ozil to take on his fair share of defensive duties this season.
Emery tasted defeat in his first game in charge at the Emirates as the Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City on the opening day of the Premier League season.
The Spaniard has called for full commitment ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea and insists Ozil, who has been criticised in the past for a perceived lack of effort at times, will be expected to give his all when defending for the team.
Eden Hazard could start as Chelsea face Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, but summer signing Mateo Kovacic is unlikely to make the XI.
Hazard started on the bench for Chelsea’s 3-0 opening-day win over Huddersfield, but looked bright after coming on late in the game and grabbed an assist.
Kovacic did not feature against the Terriers after joining from Real Madrid on Deadline Day, and Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has said he is not yet ready to play an entire match.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas will not feature against his former club due to a minor injury, but Sarri hopes he will be back in training next week despite describing it as “a very unusual injury”.
“He has a pain, not in the knee, [but] near the knee,” said Sarri.
Arsenal will be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles after he suffered a small fracture to his leg in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City that could rule him out for up to two months.
Maitland-Niles played at left-back in that loss and is likely to be replaced by fit-again Nacho Monreal, with Danny Welbeck also back in training, but Sead Kolasinac (knee), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and Carl Jenkinson (ankle) are absent.
Chelsea have won five of their last six home league games against Arsenal, with the exception being a 0-0 draw last season.
Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.
In all competitions, there were two meetings between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last season, with both finishing 0-0. Prior to that, Chelsea had scored in 12 consecutive home matches against the Gunners in all competitions.
In all competitions, Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last two away games against Chelsea. They’ve not kept three in a row away at Stamford Bridge since January 1924.
Arsenal and Chelsea have met 52 times in the Premier League. In the first 26 meetings, Arsenal had a 54% win rate (W14 D9 L3), while Chelsea have won 54% of the last 26 (W14 D7 L5).
Arsenal lost their opening Premier League match against Manchester City – they haven’t lost both of their first two games in a season since 1992-93 (vs Norwich and Blackburn).
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s next league goal will be his 150th in the big five European leagues.
Premier League Fixtures Saturday 18th August 2018
Cardiff City V Newcastle United Time: 15:00
Everton V Southampton Time: 15:00
Leicester City V Wolverhampton Wanderers Time: 15:00
Tottenham Hotspur V Fulham Time: 15:00
West Ham United V Bournemouth Time: 15:00
Chelsea V Arsenal Time: 17:30
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website