03 October 2014

Match Preview: Chelsea v. Arsenal, Stamford Bridge, Oct 5 9.05am (EST)

The opponent
Cesc, just looking plain wrong in blue, faces Arsenal
from the comfort of his new home stadium
(Credit: Ben Sutherland)
After a week of slagging Sam for putting in a subpar effort into writing the match preview for the North London Derby, I decided that I would write this week’s match preview for the Chelsea game. One of the things that I criticized Sam for was not taking the piss out of Spurs more. I had a million jokes about them! Well, over the course of the day, I’ve realized that writing about Chelsea is going to be a lot harder than it looks. Whereas I find Spurs to be comical and unthreatening, I respect Chelsea as a competitor. While I want to make jokes about them, I found my approach to Chelsea a lot more serious than I wanted it to be. The following is that seriousness, anxiety, and hopefully, some humor.

Part of that feeling or approach is tied with how I view this game. Chelsea are off to the hot start, sitting atop the table. This match against them presents an opportunity for Arsenal to close the gap and to get a much needed win over a rival for a top four spot and possibly a league championship. It presents an opportunity to gain some confidence and some belief to perform at a higher level against other big opponents. Arsenal’s struggles against the top clubs in recent years, especially on the road, has been well documented and it would be nice to see that change this year. It’s also because I hate Chelsea.