Chelsea put a stop to our brief two-match losing streak earlier this week, which means we can have a happy Christmas, enjoy the continuing social isolation, and then get ready for the real fun: Arsenal on Boxing Day!
Normally, this match would have top-four implications for both teams. Right now, that’s only true for us. Arsenal are having their very own 2015-16 “Mourinho Season”, with Tuesday’s Carabao Cup loss to Manchester City extending their winless streak in non-Europa League games to eight, with six losses. Newly appointed West Brom head coach Sam Allardyce is already playing relegation mind-games with the Gunners.
Asked Sam Allardyce if @Arsenal were rivals at bottom: "Absolutely. They haven’t won a PL game for almost double figures (is seven, one win in 10). Getting beaten last night, even though not in PL drains confidence of Arsenal’s players. They will be wondering what has hit them"— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) December 23, 2020
But as Frank Lampard warned in his pre-match press conference, underestimating the Gunners could result in severe disappointment. They’re still a good team, with good players, and still at the wounded animal stage rather than post-rigor mortis.
Add in the fact that Chelsea are missing both of our starting full backs, Ben Chilwell and Reece James, and Hakim Ziyech is still not fit, we’d do well to come back home with all three points.