Saturday 18th August 2018

Event of the Day: Chelsea versus Arsenal

Our event of the day is the Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. The opening weeks of life in the Arsenal hot seat have been a real baptism of fire for new Gunners boss Unai Emery. This daunting away fixture at Chelsea follows an opening day defeat to Premier League champions Manchester City, in which Arsenal were dismantled with somewhat ease. Emery is still experimenting with his formation and personnel, as Sunday’s slightly disjointed performance confirmed. Petr Cech is due to start at Stamford Bridge, where he spent eleven successful years prior to his 2015 move to Arsenal. The Czech keeper’s role in Manchester City’s opening goal has been called into question. With Bayern Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno recruited over summer, there are continued doubts as to whether Cech will remain the Arsenal number one. Despite the slightly unconvincing start to Emery’s reign, there is no doubting the quality that Arsenal possess. If the former PSG manager can get the best out of the likes of Mesut Özil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, then who knows how far they can go. 

Today’s opponents Chelsea also began the campaign with a fresh face in the dugout. However, the Blues are much more accustomed to welcoming in new mangers than their North London counterparts. Maurizio Sarri is Chelsea’s thirteenth different manager since Arsenal hired Arsène Wenger in 1996. The Italian wasn’t thrown quite so far in the deep end as Unai Emery. Sarri guided Chelsea to a convincing 3-0 win at Huddersfield on the opening day of the season. Eden Hazard, who was on the bench for the victory in Yorkshire, could start today. There are still question marks concerning the future of the Belgian star, with Spanish giants Real Madrid heavily linked. Chelsea’s season will be a lot easier if they can hang onto their talisman. No doubt he will cause Arsenal problems today. With both managers still finding their feet in the Premier League, today promises to be a fascinating matchup.

Honourable mentions around the globe go the first day of the third test between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. England currently lead 2-0 in the five-match series after they demolished India by an innings and 159 runs at Lords six days ago. Loughborough Lightning continue their quest for Women’s Cricket Super League glory at Headingley, where they play Yorkshire Diamonds. Elsewhere in the UK, Tottenham face newly promoted Fulham at Wembley in the Premier League. Aston Villa, now in their third season out of the top flight, travel to Portman Road where Ipswich will aim to bring an end to their 100% start to the Championship campaign. Barcelona’s defence of their La Liga title begins at Camp Nou as they welcome Alaves. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain are away to Guingamp, whilst in Eredivisie, Ajax play VVV-Venlo. The opening weekend of Serie A gets underway, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus travelling to Verona to face Chievo. In the MLS, table topping FC Dallas welcome ninth place Minnesota United. Additional sporting action from the States comes from a full schedule of MLB fixtures, including the Boston Red Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays. In Greensboro, the Wyndham Championships enter the third day on the PGA Tour, whilst on the LPGA Tour, the Indy Women in Tech Championship continues. Further golf action comes from Sweden, with day three of the Nordea Championships on the European Tour. Rugby Union action comes from Sydney, as Australia play New Zealand in the Rugby Championship. Meanwhile in Rugby League, the Panthers face the Knights at the Panthers Stadium in Sydney in NRL action. There’s an all Sydney clash in the AFL, with the Greater Western Sydney Giants against the Sydney Swans. Diamond League Athletics comes from Birmingham, whilst the Triathlon World Cup gets underway at Lausanne in Switzerland. Tennis of the highest calibre continues on the WTA and ATP World Tours at the Cincinnati Masters.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!


Photos by Premier League 

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