You couldn’t call any team with Eden Hazard in it lacklustre, but Chelsea’s performance against Manchester United at the weekend was largely stoical and workmanlike, rather than spectacular.
But, as United know better than most, it’s points rather than performances which win titles. And Chelsea are a points machine even when they aren’t at their best.
Three points at Arsenal this weekend (kick off Sunday 16:00 local time) will put Chelsea within one win of the title and they should set up in a very similar way to last Sunday against a similar opponent with genuine attacking threat.
We have spoken in the past about Arsenal’s lack of cutting edge but Chelsea don’t suffer from the same foible and will look for that one opening to gain an advantage on their rivals. They certainly won’t go gung-ho into this fixture and would probably be happy with the draw. They have one of the best defences in Europe and this should help them to repel the regular attacks of an Arsenal team in top form.
Kurt Zouma did a decent job in the anchor man role against United, running himself into the ground. But we think Ramires will get the nod in this encounter. Up top Chelsea have problems with Diego Costa and Didier Drogba likely to miss the game. Loic Remy, who is also carrying a knock, should be fit to start. Otherwise we might expect to see Willian or Hazard up top.