‘They have one advantage’ – Paul Merson sends warning to Arsenal ahead of Chelsea clash

'Mauricio Pochettino's side can kick-start their season with a win.'

‘They have one advantage’ – Paul Merson sends warning to Arsenal ahead of Chelsea clash
Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Chelsea’s next eight fixtures include Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City, Newcastle, Brighton and Man Utd (Photo: Getty)

Paul Merson has warned Arsenal that their tactics might play into Chelsea’s hands ahead of the big London derby on Saturday.

Chelsea host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in a pivotal game for both sides, with the Blues desperate to keep their winning ways up as they find their feet under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Gunners meanwhile have an unbeaten run to maintain and are aiming to go top of the table following their huge victory over Manchester City before the international break.

With nine points separating the sides, many expect Mikel Arteta’s team to triumph, especially given his record against the Blues and the fact that Chelsea haven’t beaten Arsenal at home since August 2018.

But Gunners legend Merson doesn’t believe it will be plain sailing for his former club, expressing concern that Chelsea have actually performed better against the ‘bigger’ teams this season, telling Sky Sports: ‘They have not done it against the ‘lesser’ teams.

‘I have said all along that I think Chelsea will be a better team away from home this season, as they have the pace on the break and teams have to come out. But when teams come and sit 10 men behind the ball, they struggle badly as they do not have the guile to break them down.

‘Arsenal come to Stamford Bridge this weekend and they will have a go at Chelsea, so it will be interesting. But against the better teams, like Liverpool who had a right go, those are the games Chelsea have played well in this season.

Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
‘When Raheem Sterling is playing like he did at Burnley, then he is unplayable (Photo: Getty)

‘With where Chelsea are in the league, teams will not want to play them because on their day, they can beat anybody and when Raheem Sterling is playing like he did at Burnley, then he is unplayable.

‘One advantage Chelsea will have is that we virtually know what the Arsenal team is going to be. On the other hand, we have no idea what the Chelsea team will be.

‘Mauricio Pochettino’s side can kick-start their season with a win. Chelsea had a great result against Burnley last time out, but they now have some unbelievably tough fixtures coming up.

‘If they can get through them and get enough points in those games, then you would have to say they are going to be a threat and they have a chance.

‘But this is also a big game for Arsenal. This can be another marker laid down for them. If they win this game, I’m looking at Arsenal as major, major players.’

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