Draw Chelsea’s Centre Backs Out Of Position
Arsenal scored fewer home goals last year than relegated Newcastle United and they need to correct that this year. Wenger’s men can sometimes have so much possession at home that they send themselves to sleep, much like a snake charming trick. If the game settles into lengthy spells of slow Arsenal possession when the ball gets moved across the pitch in a big U-shape from full back to full back, Chelsea will be in a comfort zone. Assuming John Terry makes the game, he and Cahill want bodies around them and the game to be played in front of them.
If there is a memory of this game based on recent meetings, it is of Olivier Giroud crashing against Terry and Cahill like a wave against a cliff face. This type of direct, physical concentration is exactly what those two enjoy; they knew exactly where Giroud was and could see his shirt number for most of the game. Arsenal have to try and be more subtle and elusive. Wenger has deployed Alexis Sanchez in a false nine rule as he tries to evolve the team away from Giroud’s influence. Sanchez will come towards the ball and will act like bait for the Chelsea centre halves. Arsenal will want one of them to come out of the defensive line to mark Sanchez, which will leave space for Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil to run into. If the impetuous David Luiz plays, this could be particularly successful. The Gunners have to disturb the stalwarts in that Chelsea back four through slick interplay and sharp movement.