Arsenal and Chelsea enjoyed polar opposite fortunes during their respective Premier League opening day fixtures.
The Gunners were outclassed by newly-promoted Brentford, with Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard scoring a goal on either side of half-time to seal a historic victory for Thomas Frank’s side.
Meanwhile, the Blues were comfortable winners against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace, securing all three points after strikes from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Premier League debutant Trevoh Chalobah.
Now, the two London sides will be starting preparation for their second game of the new campaign as Chelsea travel to north London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The current champions of Europe have struggled in recent clashes against Mikel Arteta’s men, losing in each of their last three meetings, including a bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup final in August 2020.
However, head coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that the west Londoners will have their new star striker Romelu Lukaku available for the highly-anticipated affair after the Belgian missed his side’s victory over the Eagles.
“We expect Romelu to finish quarantine in time to be able to join team training on Tuesday because Monday is our day off”, Tuchel said in his post-match press conference.
And former Arsenal icon Paul Merson has claimed that Lukaku is ‘the last person’ Arsenal will want to come up against given the defensive frailties they showed on Friday night.
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“You think when Lukaku plays against them? My God”, he told Sky Sports. “You know what I mean. He is the last person you want to play against if you are Arsenal, the last person.”
Despite Lukaku’s impressive numbers during his time with Inter Milan, where he notched 64 goals in 95 games, the 28-year-old actually boasts a poor record against Arsenal, having scored just three goals in 17 clashes against the Gunners.
Still, the Belgian frontman will be hoping he can prove Merson right come Sunday and improve on his lacklustre goalscoring return against the north London side.