Arsenal vs Chelsea: Three key players to look out for

Arsenal and Chelsea take part in an important London Derby in the Premier League as we look at three key players who can have a major impact.

In the last few years, matches between Arsenal and Chelsea have lost their bite, with the Gunners utterly dominating proceedings when the two sides take on each other. In fact, since the beginning of the 2021/22 season, the Blues have yet to manage to win against the Gunners, and that trend has continued until now.

There was a sense of optimism about Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when they took a two-goal lead in the reverse fixture. The Gunners bounced back to draw the game through Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard’s goals.

Back then, Chelsea were in some dismal form, and Arsenal were flying. At the same time, the Gunners have placed themselves as genuine title challenges, and the Blues have crawled back from a mediocre season to potentially challenging for a top-six place.

Either way, the game at the Emirates on Tuesday carries massive ramifications for either side should they drop points, but more so for Arsenal and the effect it could have in the title race. As for Chelsea, they will want to make a statement here in North London. But the road seems difficult, especially as they might potentially miss top scorer Cole Palmer.

Chelsea are also missing a host of other big names in their squad, as they have for most of the season. Unlike, them, Arsenal have a fit enough squad at their disposal, meaning, Mikel Arteta might have more options to manouvre than his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino.

As we enter the final stages of the build-up to this monumental clash, we look at three players who can greatly impact proceedings in this London Derby. Raheem Sterling might want to prove his worth in light of his recent form, while Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli need to make a big mark on proceedings on Tuesday night.

Raheem Sterling

It has been quite an awful season for Sterling, who has come in for some criticism for his selfish approach and not performing well enough for Chelsea. In recent times, he lost his place in the starting lineup as Pochettino continued to prefer some of the younger stars, as the England international fell victim to the rise of Cole Palmer.

Sterling might have a big chance on his hand when he takes Palmer’s place in the lineup on Tuesday, for the young winger has taken ill ahead of this derby. Will a big performance against Arsenal propel the former Liverpool attacker to new heights and get back in Pochettino’s plans? It is quite a big possibility.

Hence, Sterling must bring his best game to the pitch on Tuesday to show he still has what it takes at the highest levels and against a big opposition. Additionally, breaching the Arsenal backline will take some doing. But the former Liverpool attacker has the mentality to forge a lethal streak in the attacking third.

Bukayo Saka

Many Arsenal fans are worried about the late loss of Saka, but there is a feeling this drop is only a temporary arrangement and that the winger will come good in the coming period. The academy star has to provide some answers about debates that have brewed in recent times that have come to question his position in the English squad.

Incidentally, after huge comparisons with Phil Foden for most of the season, Saka has to endure the same with Cole Palmer. In any case, a debate about Saka’s non-performance in recent games could have a big impact on Southgate’s mind ahead of the Euros.

Hence, the winger must put in a fantastic showing ahead of the Chelsea clash, which also happens to be a team against which he has traditionally played well. Hence, all Arsenal fans will pray that Saka improves his form and puts on a show to down one of their most hated rivals from across town.

Gabriel Martinelli

Arsenal have generally performed very well this year, and they did so without having Gabriel Martinelli at the top of his game. The Brazilian winger has had some solid games this season, but overall, he has glided through the campaign, as the form of his teammates prevented some of the scrutiny from reaching his doorstep.

With Saka underperforming over the last few weeks, Arteta has stuck with the Brazilian ahead of others like Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard. Hence, the time may have come for Martinelli to help the attacking setup with his push and perform in the manner all fans know him for.

Chelsea are a big team; some of Martinelli’s most crucial goals have come against teams like Liverpool and Manchester City this season. His numbers are bad compared to the heights of last season. But there is still time to recover, beginning with the London Derby, to prove he can better his stats and finish the season on a high note.

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