Scouting report: Arsenal

As we kick off 2018 with a trip across London to take on Arsenal, here's a closer look at the Gunners...
 

Manager

Arsene Wenger. The 67 year-old has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996 and has delivered three Premier League titles to the Emirates during his tenure. Against West Brom on Sunday, Wenger overtook Sir Alex Ferguson's record by taking charge of his 811th Premier League game.The Frenchman saw his side slip to their biggest ever defeat to us at Stamford Bridge in 2014, as we ran out 6-0 winners that day.

Key player

Alexis Sanchez. Although out of contract in the summer, the striker is a key performer for the Gunners and provides goals and assists in the final third. The Chilean links up well with Mesut Ozil and tends to ghost into spaces between defence and midfield, proving difficult for defenders to pick up. Has notched seven Premier League goals so far this season and ranks Barcelona and Udinese amongst his former clubs. 

Recent form

Arsenal head into the fixture unbeaten in six Premier League games, with their last defeat coming on 2 December when Manchester United won at the Emirates. The Gunners have won 25 points from a possible 30 at home this season, winning eight times in front of their own fans. They have also kept six clean sheets in their 10 home Premier League matches but have conceded three goals in three of the other four games.

One to watch

Midfield playmaker, Mesut Ozil, is a key component for Arsene Wenger’s side, as a large proportion of Arsenal’s attacking play goes through the German. The former Real Madrid man, who arrived at the Emirates in 2013, has netted four times in the Premier League so far this term, as well as contributing five assists. Like Sanchez, the German international is out of contract in the summer although the Gunners are looking to tie him down to a long-term deal. 

Worn both badges

Cesc FabregasOur midfielder will head into the game against his former club knowing that if he scores then it will be his 50th in the Premier League (14 for Chelsea, 35 for Arsenal). The Spaniard spent eight years at Arsenal before moving back to his hometown club of Barcelona. We recruited the 30 year-old in 2014 and he played his part in our Premier League triumphs of 2014/15 and 2016/17.