English Premier League week 23 preview: Can Arsenal handle Chelsea?

Well into the second half of the Premier League, the matches hold much more meaning now. Teams now know whether they have to avoid relegation, reach for European football, or aim for a shot at winning the title. Therefore, the context behind these matches is much more important.

Of tomorrow’s eight fixtures, three of them will be important, starting off with the first match between Wolves and Leicester City. After that, a crucial mid-table clash between West Ham and Bournemouth will take place. However, the main event comes at the end of the day when Arsenal take on Chelsea.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0” by @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Wolves vs Leicester City

Well, well, Wolves have been making headlines as of late, and all for the right reasons. They’ve stood up against the big teams after drawing to Arsenal and beating Bournemouth, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool and have made themselves into a force to be reckoned with.

Leicester City themselves are in fine form, sitting three spots above Wolves in the league table at eighth. Victories against the likes of Chelsea and then league-leaders Manchester City have changed the landscape of the Premier League (although they might want to forget the FA Cup loss to Newport County).

Both teams should have a rather strong lineup, as both teams are only missing one player. Wolves will be without Willy Boly, as he saw a red card against Manchester City. Leicester will have to do without Daniel Amartey, as he is undergoing ankle surgery.

This is likely to be a game filled with goals, as Leicester has scored in the last six of their seven matches. Wolves have failed to keep a clean sheet as of late, doing so only once in their last 15 results. The Wolves offense is more than capable of causing Leicester problems, but their defense might prevent them from grabbing a win..

Prediction: Wolves 2-2 Leicester City

 

Bournemouth vs West Ham

Bournemouth’s form as of late has been, how do I say this? Terrible. They haven’t won in their last ten matches, conceding 26 and scoring only five. The injuries of Callum Wilson, Steve Cook, Simon Francis and Solanke have hurt the squad defensively, instigating the Cherries’ fall from sixth to twelfth place.

On the other hand, despite West Ham’s squad facing a large number of injuries, that hasn’t hurt the way they play, as displayed in their massive 1-0 victory over Arsenal. Despite being without Chicharito, Jack Wilshire, Carlos Sánchez, Winston Reid or Andrey Yarmolenko, West Ham’s three forwards in Felipe Anderson, Antonio and new-signing Samir Nasri have been causing many problems for opponents.

Even if Marko Arnountovic doesn’t play for the Hammers against Bournemouth, West Ham’s attacking options looks too strong for Bournemouth’s crippled defense to handle. With a win, West Ham can try to improve from ninth to seventh place, while Bournemouth are desperate for a return in the top ten.

Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Bournemouth

 

FA Cup Final 27.5.17” by @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Arsenal vs Chelsea

The two sides previously met in week two when Chelsea edged out Arsenal 3-2, but now Chelsea will have to try and win away at The Emirates. But despite being just one place apart in the table, Chelsea is well ahead by six points.

What Arsenal do have on their side is their formidable offense. While Chelsea has scored 40 goals in their 22 matches, Arsenal has scored 46, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in line for the golden boot, boasting 14 goals to his name.

As far as injuries go, the only short term injuries which stain both sides would be those of Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal and Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea. To provide Chelsea the biggest chances of winning, rather than having Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri might just play Eden Hazard as a center forward.

Arsenal definitely has the ability to outscore Chelsea, but the it’s really had to place faith in the defense, especially after losses to West Ham, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s defense is far better than Arsenal, allowing just 17 goals this season so far compared to Arsenal’s 32.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-3 Chelsea

 

Other English Premier League predictions:

Liverpool 4-2 Crystal Palace

Watford 2-1 Burnley

Newcastle 3-1 Cardiff City

Manchester United 4-0 Brighton

Southampton 2-2 Everton

Huddersfield 0-3 Manchester City

Fulham 1-3 Tottenham

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