Arsenal vs Chelsea December 23rd 2013
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While all thoughts are on the Champions League as Chelsea take on Basel away knowing that a draw will see them through to the knockout stage of the Champions League, Arsenal are at home to bottom of the group Marseille having already beaten the French team away.
The Gunners are equal top of Group F with Napoli, and should Borussia Dortmund fail to beat Rafa Benitez’s side it will see Arsenal reach the knockout stages of the competition for the 14th successive season.
Domestically Arsenal are riding high in the Premiership sitting on top of the table on 28 points four clear of Liverpool and Chelsea who are in joint second on 24 points, and as the run into Christmas heats up to the big match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates on Monday the 23rd of December it might be a good idea to try and secure tickets early as this game is sure to be a sell out.
Arsenal face a tough run into the New Year with a crowded fixture list that sees the Gunners playing both Everton and top goal scoring team Manchester City before taking on Chelsea just two days before Christmas followed up with a Boxing day clash away to West Ham.
All of the top football pundits are saying that this is the period where we will see if Arsenal are true Premiership title contenders, and when the question was put to the Gunners manager, Arsene Wenger said:
“It is an important period, of course, but I’m quite confident and you can see I am quite relaxed because I feel we will deal well with this period,” he said. “It is an opportunity for us to show our strength and I’m confident the players will be up for it.”
Over at Stamford Bridge the mood is much more confident coming off a 3-0 win against West Ham at Upton Park, and despite not getting some the results they would have liked away from home Chelsea has a relatively mild run into the match with Arsenal playing bottom of the table Crystal Palace, Sunderland and 14th placed Stoke City.
Veteran Chelsea player 35-year-old Frank Lampard know that the Premiership title is up for grabs this season and when asked about Chelsea’s chances of winning it the England international said:
“Nobody has caught fire except perhaps Arsenal and we are in touching distance of them, we are in a position where we can say ‘Yes, we want to improve and challenge to win the league’. I think we are in a good spot to do that.
“The talent in the squad is there and the consistency and spirit and desire and mentality has to be there. We have to do that every week,” the veteran added. “If we can do it over 10 games and put a real run of wins together then maybe we will scare other teams.
“But at the moment, everybody is in the mix and nobody has pulled away, so we have to try to put that run together. We have to make sure as a squad we have to work towards one goal.”
So whether you are a Gunner or a Blues fan you know how crucial the match is between the two London powerhouses and what it would mean to both teams in what could be the season’s most important match so far especially if Arsenal is still top of the league.