Former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly believes Mauricio Pochettino’s side can exploit a “mental drop” from Arsenal and beat the Gunners on Saturday. The France legend believes victory would be a major step in the right direction for his old club.
Arsenal head to Stamford Bridge unbeaten in their last four Premier League visits to the ground. Mikel Arteta has spearheaded three wins in a row at the west London venue.
The Gunners have not lost any of their first eight league games of this season, while Chelsea have won just one of their four home matches. Desailly, though, reckons Chelsea’s recent struggles will mean Arsenal do not treat the game with the intensity of previous clashes between the two sides.
He can see Chelsea coming out on top 3-1 to put a dent in their opponents’ title hopes. Desailly told Gambling Zone: “It looks impossible, but I’ll go for a 3-1 win. I’ll go for 3-1 Chelsea. Why not? This is the beauty of the Premier League.
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“As soon as a team has a mental drop and isn’t ready for the intensity of a match, they can lose. When Arsenal players arrive at Chelsea, they may believe that it won’t be as difficult as it would at Tottenham, City, or eventually, Man United. The spirit of [Sir Alex] Ferguson is still there.
“Those kinds of stadiums get players ready for the battle. When teams come to Chelsea, they’ll think they can win, despite how talented their players are. The mental preparation will automatically drop, even if you try to control it.”
Chelsea have won their last three matches in all competitions. Desailly says victory over Arsenal will prove Pochettino is leading the club on the right path.
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He added: “All of what I said about Chelsea before can be brushed away if Chelsea beat Arsenal! A victory won’t just mean three points, it’ll also mean you’ve been physically, technically, and tactically superior to Arsenal.
“That’ll give the players a lot of belief, and Pochettino can build on that. Everyone now knows that Arsenal are a part of the great teams in the Premier League, and Chelsea will know how important the psychological aspects of the game are.
“I do believe Chelsea can win, even if it’s Arsenal. I’m not taking away from Arsenal’s level, but Chelsea can win and build up from there.”
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