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Arsenal v Chelsea: Four duels to watch

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Arsenal v Chelsea: Four duels to watch

Mikel Arteta is seeking his best Arsenal 11 while Chelsea’s Frank Lampard needs his new and expensive pieces to gel into a more consistent outfit. Whoever the two managers name in their starting 11 on Saturday will be buoyed up to take the spoils in the 202nd North West London derby.

Gabriel Megalhaes v Tammy Abraham

One of the shining lights in Arsenal’s season has been the defender Arteta got from Lille. The brawny defender has an Opta performance index of 75, the best of all Arsenal defenders and he has made one last-ditch tackle and achieved 13 blocks. He has also scored twice with headers. His direct opposition will be Abraham, who scored twice against West Ham in Chelsea’s last match. Abraham has an Opta performance index of 100, and has hit roughly 50 per cent of his shots on target. But Megalhaes has a better ground and aerial duel success rate. The Chelsea man will hang on the shoulder and hope to get on to passes behind the last man to make hay.

Kieran Tierney v Christian Pulisic

Tierney will give 100 per cent either as a left full back or as part of a three-man Arsenal defence while one Chelsea aspect that has been sorely missing is their wide man in Pulisic. While the American is good in one-on-one duels on the ground, Tierney has 11 interceptions to his name already in the season and possesses the speed to match Pulisic. The major talking point will be positioning. While Tierney will want to hold ground and guide the box, Pulisic will want to drag the Scot out of position to give room to running midfielders.

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Dani Ceballos v N’Golo Kante

Ceballos has been grafting but in Kante, he will be facing the league’s top grafter. Both midfielders have yet to hit their full stride and both have not scored – though scoring is not their primary task. Ceballos, with his guile and eye for a pass, will be expected to open up the Chelsea defence with passes from deep. Surprisingly, Ceballos has the better ground duel success rate to Kante’s – 58 to 52 per cent but Kante has made the most interceptions – 31 to 17. In tackling and passes, Kante is better – having made 235 more passes and made 17 more tackles than the Spaniard.

Mohamed Elneny v Mason Mount

Elneny has revived his Arsenal career under Arteta but he will have to be at his most watchful to keep tabs on the roving Mount. The young Chelsea midfielder has attempted 17 shots this season, scoring just once and hitting the woodwork once. Elneny has made just four tackles, compared with 29 for Mount. That role will have to be reversed on Saturday because Mount is the most effective part of Chelsea’s press and if he wins balls in the last third, Arsenal could be in trouble.

Stats Arsenal Chelsea
Attempted passes 7349 8539
Shots on target 46 78
Tackles 161 211
Successful dribbles 104 109
Aerial duel success 0.4712 0.5306
Ground duel success 0.5135 0.4815
Yellow cards 22 16
Red cards 3 1
Goals scored 12 29
Goals conceded 18 14

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