MATCH PREVIEW: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

By Greg Oldfield (@GregOldfield21)

The North West London derby will debut at the Florida Cup when longtime rivals Arsenal and Chelsea take the field at Camping World Stadium for over the 200th time since the rivals first squared off in 1907.

The clubs split their matchups last season. On August 22nd, the second game of the Premier League season, Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium behind first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James. On April 20th, Arsenal returned the favor, topping the Blues 4-2 at Stamford Bridge. Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta scored in the first half for Chelsea while Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe scored for Arsenal, taking the sides into the break at 2-2. Nketiah scored his second in the 57th minute and Bukayo Saka added a stoppage time penalty to seal the Gunners win.

Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Arsenal and Chelsea met in the delayed 2020 FA Cup Final in August. Christian Pulisic scored the opener five minutes in, but a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace gave the Gunners the victory and the club’s English-leading 14th FA Cup title. During the season, Arsenal pulled off a league double, beating the Blues on Boxing Day 3-1 and again 1-0 in May.

The clubs have gone head-to-head in five major finals. In addition to the 2020 FA Cup, Arsenal also won the 2002 FA Cup final (2-0) and the 2017 FA Cup final (2-1). Chelsea won the 2007 EFL Cup final (2-1) and the 2019 Europa League final (4-1). With 47 trophies to Chelsea’s 32, Arsenal holds a sizeable lead; however, in the past twenty years, Chelsea has won 23 trophies compared to Arsenal’s 15. 

In 205 matches between the clubs, Arsenal holds an 80-66 lead with 59 draws. Arsenal leads the series in league wins (66-50-54/wins-draws-losses) and FA Cup wins (10-6-5) but Chelsea leads in EFL Cup (4-1-3) and Champions League (1-1-0) wins. The rivals have split in the Europa League (1 win each) and the Community Shield (1-1-1). In Premier League matches since 1992-93, the clubs have met 60 times. Arsenal won 23 games while Chelsea won 20, and the clubs have drawn 17 times. During that time, the Blues hold a one-goal advantage over the Gunners (82-81) as well as the edge in clean sheets (18-15). Chelsea’s biggest win over Arsenal was 6-0 in March 2014 while Arsenal’s biggest win was 5-1 during the 1930-31 season.

Several players have switched shirts from one club to the other during their careers, most recently Olivier Giroud, Cesc Fábregas, Ashley Cole, Nicolas Anelka, and Emmanuel Petit from Arsenal to Chelsea and Willian, David Luiz, Petr Čech, Yossi Benayoun, and Lassana Diarra from Chelsea to Arsenal.

In the Premier League, Arsenal holds a slight lead over Chelsea in all-time wins (619-618) and goals scored (2,017-1,973) while the Blues have conceded fewer goals (1,125-1,148). Among players, Chelsea’s Frank Lampard ranks third in all-time appearances with 609 and scored 177 goals to Arsenal’s Thierry Henry’s 175, which puts the club legends sixth and seventh respectively. Cesc Fábregas ranks second in all-time assists with 111 while Lampard (102) and Arsenal’s Denis Bergkamp (94) rank fourth and fifth. Petr Čech is the league’s all-time leader in clean sheets with 202, and Arsenal’s David Seaman ranks fourth with 141.

Since 2017, the London rivals have played each other 19 times across all competitions, with Arsenal holding a 7-6 edge with 6 draws.

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