Ødegaard: ‘I’m really excited to be here again’
Martin Ødegaard has spoken about his return to Arsenal on a permanent basis and what drove him to come back to the Emirates.
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Line-ups
Arsenal’s Dismay to Continue
Many believed that a campaign without European football would only benefit Arsenal domestically, but the Gunners – albeit one depleted by injuries and illnesses – kicked off the season in the manner that Gooners feared following an equally woeful pre-season period.
Having had 22 shots without finding the back of the net against Brentford, the potential absences of Aubameyang and Lacazette are well and truly felt in the Emirates ranks, and worryingly, five of Arsenal’s last 10 opening home games have ended in defeat.
While their London counterparts were being humbled, Chelsea simply cruised to three points in a capital derby of their own, striking three times without reply against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Keeping the momentum going from their enthralling yet draining victory over Villarreal in the Super Cup, Chelsea have already risen to second in the fledgling standings, but the Champions League holders will undoubtedly have their eyes set on wrestling the crown off of Manchester City’s hands.
However, Frank Lampard and Tuchel both had no answer to Arteta’s fluid Arsenal in the 2020-21 season, as the Gunners kickstarted their revival with a 3-1 Boxing Day win at the Emirates before Emile Smith Rowe capitalised on Jorginho’s error at Stamford Bridge for a 1-0 win, although Chelsea did prevail 2-1 in the Mind Series earlier this month.
Arsenal certainly have some bright young talent in their attacking ranks, but after experiencing very little joy against Brentford, a similar story is likely to follow against the champions of Europe. With Lukaku out to score his first ever goal for Chelsea and the Blues seeking to avenge back-to-back defeats last season, we can only see the blue side of London celebrating after this game.