Arsenal will be hoping to get themselves back on track in their penultimate game of the year 2020, as they host one of their fierce rivals, Chelsea, in the star Premier League Boxing Day fixture.
It has been a largely disappointing season for the Gunners this term as they are closer to the relegation zone than the top-four spot they often covet.
Arsenal’s paltry tally of 14 points from 14 matches this season is actually their worst at this stage of a campaign since 1974-75.
While Mikel Arteta’s men are languishing in the 15th position, the Blues are 10 spots ahead in 5th position, and they could climb up into the second spot if they get a win at the Emirates.
However, while Chelsea are favourites based on current form, the history books favour Arsenal ahead of their London neighbours.
Arsenal lead the overall head-to-head between these two teams, with the Gunners boasting 78 wins to Chelsea’s 65, while there have also been 58 draws throughout history.
Arteta’s side beat Chelsea 2-1 in last season’s FA Cup final, while they picked up a point in a 2-2 draw when the two sides battled at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League back in January.
With the stage set for a potentially explosive clash, stay with PREMIUM TIMES for all the live updates.
Kick-off is 6.30 p.m.
Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette
Chelsea XI: Mendy, James, Zouma, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham, Werner
Arteta makes 6 changes to the team that lost 4-1 to @mancity. Granit Xhaka makes a return while Pablo Mari makes his #EPL debut. Chilwell and James make dramatic recoveries to reclaim their places in the Chelsea 11. #ARSCHE
Kick off at the Emirates
Bukayo Saka from Arsenal swings in the corner from the right but Kurt Zouma relives the pressure
Poor play by Thiago Silva, a weak attempt by the defender to clear the ball puts Chelsea under pressure
Alexandre Lacazette is penalised for pushing Kurt Zouma.
Two corner kicks for Arsenal already and none for Chelsea
Ball possession: Arsenal: 62%, Chelsea: 38%.
free kick as Granit Xhaka from Arsenal trips Christian Pulisic
Shot by Mason Mount is off the target
CLOSE! Another effort by Mason Mount.. he beats the wall and keeper with his free kick but it hits the post!
It’s raining, making conditions difficult for the players
15MINS: Mari catches Kovacic and earns the first yellow card of the match. The young defender must now be careful for all of 75 minutes #ARSCHE
After a tactical foul, Pablo Mari gets the first Yellow Card
Ball possession: Arsenal: 47%, Chelsea: 53%.
19mins: Werner with a run into the box but he pauses enough for Holding to get in a good block. Chelsea’s first corner kick #ARSCHE
20 minutes played still Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
Tammy Abraham is penalised for pushing Granit Xhaka
24mins: Danger in the @Chelsea box but Smith-Rowe is unable to get a decisive touch in front of Mendy’s goal #ARSCHE
Another poor defensive play by Thiago Silva almost cost Chelsea..
Emile Smith-Rowe plays a sweet 1-2 with Bukayo Saka as Arsenal continue to push for the opener
Kieran Tierney is penalised for pushing Timo Werner.
Reece James with a long range effort but it is way off target
Potential penalty kick for Arsenal
32mins: James clips Tierney’s ankles for a penalty for Arsenal.
After the VAR check.. Arsenal are given the penalty kick
Lacazette takes it and he scores
34mins: Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea: Lacazette takes the chance to give the Gunners the lead
Chelsea have lost just two of their last 17 Premier League meetings with Arsenal… both of those defeats coming at the Emirates
The Gunnes have been the more proactive of the two sides even though goal-scoring chances have been at a premium. Reece James was tempted into the tackle and took the bait.
Free kick as Pablo Mari from Arsenal trips Mateo Kovacic
Timo Werner with a shot off target for Chelsea
Saka wins a free kick for Arsenal
G O O O O A A A L Arsenal score!
Granit Xhaka with a thunderbolt free kick
44mins: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea: Xhaka delivers a stunning goal from the free kick.
HT: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea The Gunners have been the better team and they deserve their half time lead. Arteta’s youngsters have shown courage and guts to peg back the more expensively-assembled Blues’ team. A mountain to climb now for Lampard and his team. #ARSCHE #EPL
Lampard makes two changes at the break. Introduced are Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho, who have come on for Timo Werner and Kovacic
Chelsea have started the second half as the slightly better side
Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe is ruled offside.
Arsenal have won 46 of the last 48 Premier League games in which they’ve led by 2+ goals at half-time… Can they do it against Chelsea tonight?
53mins: Martinelli in the wars and takes some time out on the pitch #ARSCHE
Fantastic goal for Arsenal… Bukayo makes it 3-0
The second Premier League goal for Saka this season
Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
64mins: Mendy makes a smart stop from a Martinelli shot as the Gunners chases a fourth goal #ARSCHE
SUB: Emile Smith-Rowe replaced by Joseph Willock
Chelsea with some decent chances to reduce the deficit but its still Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
SUB: Martinelli is taken off for Pepe
Chelsea have failed to live up to their billing in this game no shot on target despite raking 10 attempts
Interestingly, Chelsea have never lost a Boxing Day Premier League game by a three-goal margin
Pablo Mari is down injured and receives medical attention on the field.
Mari back on
Lacazzete misses a chance to make it 4-0
GOAL … After a long check Tammy Abraham’s goal stands Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
Corner kick for Chelsea as they try a late fightback
PENALTY!! Chelsea gets a lifeline
Leno saves it .. Miss by Jorginho
Five minutes extra time running down
Full Time: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
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