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Chelsea vs Arsenal match preview

May 24, 2017

Chelsea vs Arsenal

It’s the biggest London derby of the year! A chance at redemption for a stuttering Arsenal side and for Chelsea it could be the icing on the cake of an already legendary season.

Arsenal are looking to salvage this season by winning their 3rd FA Cup in the last 4 years. Despite failing to finish in the Premier League top 4, Arsenal’s form has picked up of late as they have won 5 consecutive league games for the first time since October. A huge dip in form mid season saw the gunners drop out of the title race and ultimately out of the top 4 but having already swept aside Man City in the semi-final, they will feel confident heading into the final on the back of their recent results.

Arsenal do however have their two first choice centre backs missing for this tie, Laurent Koscielny receiving a straight red card in the game vs Everton and Gabriel suffering an injury in the same game. This makes way for Per Mertesacker who has not played much first team football recently. Alexis Sanchez also picked up a knock but the extent of his injury is not known yet.

Chelsea have had a magnificent season, they have become the first team to win 30 games in a 38 game league season. They must focus on getting another victory and another piece of silverware for a now overflowing trophy cabinet. Chelsea won’t be taking Arsenal for granted, despite beating them 3-1 last time the sides met they did lose 3-0 back in September. Since that loss though Antonio Conte has taken up a 3-4-3 formation that seems to have made his side almost unbeatable. Chelsea must enter the arena as strong favourites to win this tie, they look strong in every area of the pitch and have no serious injury worries for the week ahead.

Eden Hazard is back to his best and has had arguably his best season for Chelsea. There are goals throughout the entire team, with Pedro always capable of scoring a magical goal from nothing. Michy Batshuayi has recently hit some form despite only really being used as a substitute and provides his manager with another option to turn to if plan A isn’t working on the day.

It’s sure to be a fantastic cup final but the stakes are higher for Arsenal, some fans calling for the manager to leave may be placated by some cup silverware, however if Arsenal lose and lose heavily then things could go from bad to worse for Arsene Wenger and his team. Chelsea on the other hand can approach the game without fear, enjoy the occasion and the chance to cap off an already impressive season with one of the most famous trophies in football.

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Barcelona sign Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal

August 13, 2014

Barcelona have now completed the £15m signing of Arsenal’s central defender Thomas Vermaelen on a five-year deal.

28-year-old Vermaelen passed a medical on Saturday and was presented to the Barcelona fans at the Nou Camp stadium on Sunday after the deal was done.

Vermaelen joined Arsenal from Ajax back in 2009 for £10m and has made 150 appearances for the Gunners.

Vermaelen said – “Coming to Barcelona is a dream move – it wasn’t a difficult decision at all,” the centre-back said.

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Arsenal sign Calum Chambers from Southampton

July 29, 2014

Arsenal have signed 19-year-old Calum Chambers on a five-year contract from Southampton for a fee around £16m.

Despite his young age Chambers had a very good season for the saints last season making 25 appearances. He is a very versatile defender and will offer Arsenal many options at the back.

Manager Arsene Wenger said: – “The way he adapted to the Premier League last season at a young age shows that he has tremendous quality,”

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Arsenal close in on Alexis Sanchez

July 10, 2014

Arsenal are close to signing Barcelona and Chilean international Alexis Sanchez. Both Barcelona and Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle and for the 25-year-old and it has been reported that the player has already has agreed terms.

Since joining Barcelona in 2011 from Udinese Sanchez has scored 43 goals in 119 appearances and if the deal is completed he will cost the Gunners around £30m.

This news will be a blow to a host of European clubs including Man Utd and Liverpool who have both shown interest in the player.

Arsenal are also close to signing French right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle.

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Arsenal ready to offer £17million for Marco Verratti

April 8, 2014

According to reports in Italy Arsenal are lining up a summer move for Paris Saint Germain’s midfielder Marco Verratti. Verratti normally players in a deep midfield roll and is renowned for his great technical skills.

The 21-year-old has played more than 50 games for Paris Saint Germain since he signed for them in 2012, but has since found goals hard to come by. It’s believed that PSG’s manager Laurent Blanc may be ready to let the midfielder go. Report are that Arsenal are ready to offer PSG £17million for the Italian international, whose current contract expires in 2018.

With Yohan Cabaye and Javier Pastore, Paris Saint Germain are already very strong in the midfield area so the loss of Verratti to Arsenal would not weaken the current squad that much. Arsenal however are looking at Verratti as a possible replacement for the aging Mikel Arteta.

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Sagna Move a Mystery

January 27, 2014

Reports have emerged this week about the prospect of title favourites Manchester City making a bid for Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna.

Sagna’s form has been excellent this season, but perhaps more significantly he has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers since his move from Auxerre in 2007, racking up almost 200 appearances in the period since.

Given Arsenal’s impressive form this season, City might be the only club in England who could claim to represent a step-up for the Frenchman, but should the move go ahead it is difficult to see how City would choose between Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta – himself one of the division’s most consistent performers – as their first choice right-back.

Zabaleta has continued to impress throughout his six years in Manchester, and has held down a starting berth despite his side’s capacity to buy almost any player they want. Huge credit should go to the Argentine for how he has embraced the revolution at the Etihad and proved to be so integral in City’s success.

The move, thus, doesn’t seem a particularly beneficial one for either player and certainly not for Arsenal. City will gain depth in a notoriously tricky position to find World Class players, whilst simultaneously weakening one of their main rivals for the Premier League title this season.

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Draxler Next on Wenger’s Wishlist

January 15, 2014

German international Julian Draxler is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s next major transfer target; his interest has been peaked by news that the Schalke star apparently has a release clause in his contract of about £35million.

This is not the first time the Gunners have been linked with Draxler – his name was mentioned previously when he was still a teenager, and Arsenal were mocked somewhat for showing interest in yet another youngster when their first eleven was – at the time – short of the required quality to mount of a title challenge.

Things have changed now of course, and given his experience at the top-level – the playmaker has 89 first team appearances for Schalke to his name despite being only 20 – Wenger clearly believes he is the right man to take Arsenal to the next level.

Rumours abound that Wenger would look to turn Draxler into a similar player to Robin van Persie, and would deploy him alongside or just behind main striker Olivier Giroud. For this to be effective Draxler will likely need to add a few more goals to his game; he has 14 for Schalke, and he has a solitary goal at international level in his 10 caps for Germany.

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Arsenal Back in for Cabaye

January 15, 2014

Though Arsenal are inevitably being linked with a number of new names in this transfer window, they have also restored their interest in Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who they famously missed out on in the summer.

At the time, Magpies manager Alan Pardew was outraged at the timing with which the league leaders expressed their interest; Cabaye was unsettled and missed Newcastle’s next fixture. Though there is likely to be more understanding and structure this time around, Pardew will still fight just as hard to keep hold of a player who has been pivotal to Newcastle’s impressive form this season.

The numbers being thrown in the press differ wildly, with some putting the required bid to secure Cabaye at up to £30 million. This is an awful lot of money to pay for a player yet to perform at the top level in Europe, and Cabaye has not had an outstanding season, though his consistency is to be applauded.

With a wealth of midfield options at his disposal, Wenger will have to find a place for Cabaye in a team already blessed with the talents of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the middle of the park. Unlike those players however, he is unlikely to be used out wide on any occasion; if nothing else Cabaye’s form since his move to St James Park in 2011 has helped him to make the central midfield berth his own.

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Arsenal need cover for Walcott

January 15, 2014

Theo Walcott’s six-month injury lay-off after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage against Tottenham could mean that Arsenal will sign another forward before the end of the January transfer window.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said – “It has accelerated speculation first and of course my desire as well,”

“Up front we lose Theo as a potential central forward and that’s maybe where we have to look outside.”

There has been speculation of Arsenal being linked with move for Porto’s 27 year old striker Jackson Martinez. Jackson has represented Colombia’s national team, where he has gained 25 caps and scored 8 goals so far. He is thought to be valued at around £30million. Arsenal have also been link to Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. This could be great news for fans who bought Arsenal Tickets

Arsene Wenger has long been an admirer of Morata and the Arsenal manager needs to bring in extra cover following injuries to Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is determined to keep Morata at Madrid but the player wants more first-team games after starting the majority of games on the Real bench.

Wenger is hopeful that Walcott will return to first team action next season but admitted he is looking at other attacking options upfront in the meantime. Buy Liverpool v Arsenal Tickets online.

Losing Theo has also been a blow to England and Roy Hodgson’s World Cup plans. The England coach said losing Walcott for the World Cup is a big blow. “It is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup,” Hodgson told the FA’s website.

The loss of Walcott seemed to have little impact on the Gunners as Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Monday night.

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Arsenal Set to Meet Release Clause for Diego Costa

January 4, 2014

Having secured the £42 million signing of Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Özil during the summer, Arsenal look set to test the resolve of their city rivals Athletico by meeting the £32 million release clause of Brazilian forward Diego Costa.

Having missed out on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez during the summer – having infamously bid £40,000,001 under the impression this would trigger a release clause in the Uruguayan’s contract – the addition of a top class centre forward would surely turn the Gunners into genuine title contenders following their excellent form thus far this season.

Costa himself is in exceptional form. Following a stuttering start to his Atletico Madrid career – he has been sent out on loan on four separate occasions, including a stint at Rayo Vallecano as recently as 2012 – he has taken his tally for Los Colchoneros to 35 goals in 76 appearances, including 23 goals in 23 games this season in all competitions.

Of course, Atletico themselves have benefited hugely from his form – as well as from the input of their astute manager, Diego Simeone – and they currently sit second to Barcelona in La Liga on goal difference alone. Thus, just because Arsenal are prepared to meet Costa’s asking price does not mean he would necessarily wish to move.

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