Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly has backed his former club to pull off a shock victory against Arsenal when the two sides meet on Saturday (October 21).
The two London rivals have been in completely contrasting form. Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues sit 11th in the league, nine points behind the second-placed Gunners.
Many are expecting Arsenal to prevail given that they’re unbeaten in the league so far this season. Their only defeat across competitions came against Ligue 1 side Lens in Group B of the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea have lost three of eight league games and there are question marks over a potential top four challenge.
However, Desailly has tipped the Blues to stun the Gunners with a win at Stamford Bridge this weekend. He told Gambling Zone:
“It looks impossible, but I’ll go for a 3-1 win. I’ll go for 3-1 Chelsea. Why not?”
The former France defender suggested that Arteta’s men may underestimate Pochettino’s team:
“This is the beauty of the Premier League. As soon as a team has a mental drop and isn’t ready for the intensity of a match, they can lose. When Arsenal players arrive at Chelsea, they may believe that it won’t be as difficult as it would at Tottenham, City, or eventually, Man United.”
He also said:
“When teams come to Chelsea, they’ll think they can win, despite how talented their players are. The mental preparation will automatically drop, even if you try to control it.”
The Blues will be eager to beat the Gunners and build on a 4-1 win against Burnley last time out. However, they were beaten both home and away by their London rivals last season and will perhaps be underdogs heading into Saturday’s game.
Chelsea expect Cole Palmer to be available to face Arsenal
Chelsea were fretting over the availability of Cole Palmer ahead of their clash with Arsenal. The attacking midfielder pulled up with a knock in England U21’s 9-1 mauling of Serbia U21 on October 12.
Palmer is set to miss the Young Lions’ European qualifier against Ukraine U21. However, his national team manager Lee Carsley eased fears over his potential injury (via Evening Standard):
“I think Cole would be fine, but we don’t take any chances with any of the players,’ said Carsley. If there is a slight doubt that they’re going to miss a game at the weekend, we get them back to the clubs as quickly as we can.”
The west Londoners are optimistic that Palmer will be able to play against Arsenal. He’s made a fine start to life at Stamford Bridge since joining from Manchester City for £40 million in the summer. He has bagged one goal and two assists in six games across competitions.