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Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Odds, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Preview

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2019

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Arsenal and Chelsea enter an intriguing London derby in the Premier League on Sunday in different states of transition. The Gunners are in the infancy of the Mikel Arteta era, with the Spaniard stepping into the dugout for the first time for the 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

Arteta is Arsenal's third manager this season and is tasked with restoring free-flowing football, overtaking Chelsea and finishing at least fourth to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea are also led by a former midfielder in the shape of club legend Frank Lampard. There have been highs during his first few months in charge, such as some expressive football and the development of youngsters Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, as well as impressive results, such as the recent 2-0 win away to Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Lampard has also endured plenty of lows. Chelsea's home form has been indifferent at best, with Boxing Day's 2-0 loss to Southampton the latest collapse at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have shown an ability to be tactically flexible and progressive on their travels. If Lampard can recreate the formula, his side will have a great chance of spoiling Arteta's home debut.

                    

Date: Sunday, December 29

Time: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET

TV Info: Sky Sports PL, NBCSN

Live Stream: Sky Go. NBC Sports App.

       

Odds

  • Arsenal: +180 (bet $100 to win $180)
  • Chelsea: +135 (best $100 to win $135)
  • Draw: +270

Odds per Caesars.

         

Arsenal looked more like the Arsenal of Arteta's playing days during his first match in charge. The Gunners bossed possession and moved the ball well, picking passes quickly and exploiting defensive gaps with intelligence.

Ozil impressed immediately on Arteta's watch.
Ozil impressed immediately on Arteta's watch.Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Mesut Ozil was a key factor in the improvement, and the languid schemer earned praise from his former team-mate and new boss, per Sky Sports:

"When we did the game preparation and we were watching the opponents, and where we could hurt them, we believed that he could be a key point. And we prepared the game like this, with him. He responded, he did what he had to do and we could have put two or three goals because of him in the net."

Ozil dictated the game, but he was ably supported by another player who appeared revitalised by Arteta's arrival. Granit Xhaka was superb at the heart of midfield.

Squawka Football @Squawka

Granit Xhaka for Arsenal vs. Bournemouth: • Most touches (109) • Most passes completed (89) • Most passes in opp. half (59) • Most passes into final third (20) • =Most tackles made (2) • =Most interceptions (2) A new start with Mikel Arteta? https://t.co/GDgWeg2h4q

Arteta has expressed the desire to keep Xhaka in the fold, per Nick Ames of The Guardian: "I told him how much I like him and what I expect from him. How important he is for the team. I am here to help him. I want him to feel that we are right behind him."

Despite Arteta's endorsement, Xhaka may not be an Arsenal player much longer. His agent, Jose Noguera, told Swiss publication Blick a contract has been agreed for his client to join Hertha Berlin (h/t MailOnline's Tom Caldon).

Xhaka's technique on the ball could be invaluable to the possession-based game Arteta wants. The more expressive style of play led to greater attacking impetus against the Cherries:

Orbinho @Orbinho

17 shots today - the most Arsenal have managed in a Premier League away game this season.

Disturbing Arsenal's ownership of the ball won't be easy for Chelsea, even with a natural destroyer like N'Golo Kante in midfield. The Gunners will be able to play around the Frenchman if Arteta's pass-masters are on song at the Emirates Stadium.

Lampard's bigger concern will be with his team's threat in forward areas after 22-year-old Abraham and Co. were blanked by Bournemouth and the Saints in their past two home games:

Squawka Football @Squawka

—1998: Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United Chelsea 0-1 Aston Villa —2019 Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth Chelsea 0-2 Southampton Not a feat Frank Lampard wanted to repeat. 😬 https://t.co/phUqAel1qo

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

2 - Chelsea have lost back-to-back home Premier League matches for the first time since November 2011 under Andre Villas-Boas. Concern. #CHESOU https://t.co/tGIZXZV87S

Mateo Kovacic's return will help the Blues to move the ball quicker. He will need targets to aim for, and Christian Pulisic has the pace and eye for goal Chelsea have missed recently.

Both sides have the talent up front and enough vulnerability at the back to expect a host of goals in this one. A high-scoring draw seems like the best bet from a meeting between teams still searching for identity and consistency.