Alternate title: They’re droppin’ like flies to avoid the Emirates. Chelsea will arrive on Tuesday sans James, Mount, Koulibaly, Havertz, Broja, and Cucurella, meaning that Lithe Lampard—that is his nickname, right?—will only have about 37 players available to select from. Among those might be Aubameyang, but we’ve at least been spared another cringey “I’m back” video for whatever odd marketing reason. At any rate, he brings with him his stoppable force.
Despite Chelsea having an almost-embarrassing wealth of attacking options before Todd Boehly bought the club, he went out and
spend spent more than £600m to bring 17 players. Despite—or perhaps precisely because of—all that spending, only three sides have scored fewer than Chelsea’s 30 goals. They’ve scored just once in their last seven matches. That’s the stoppable force.
Force, meet movable object. While we initially coped well with Saliba’s injury, winning twice by identical 4-1 scorelines, we’ve sh*t the bed in recent weeks, failing to keep clean sheets in all six matches he’s missed and conceding 11 goals in our last three matches. As instrumental as Saliba is, something else has been plaguing the squad. We went two goals at home to Southampton. Whatever the issue it, we urgently have to solve it if we’re to have any chance at winning the Prem.
On form, we’re both terrible. The form table has us 10th and Chelsea 20th. When something’s got to give, which will it be, the stoppable force or the movable object? If there are any other factors working in our favor, it’s that we still ostensibly have a chance at winning the Prem while Chelsea, with no realistic chance at a European spot and the slimmest fear of relegation, may just be thinking about sandy beaches rather than difficult derbies.
While we would be foolish to rely on that mindset from our visitors, we could give them more reason to start planning their summer vacations by getting back to winning ways ourselves. I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 2-0 victory for us. Too optimistic? Too cautious? Share your thoughts in the comments below…