The London rivals go head-to-head in a bumper fixture on Boxing Day but the two sides are in drastically contrasting form
Mikel Arteta says Chelsea have the strongest squad in the Premier League.
Arsenal host Frank Lampard’s side on Boxing Day hoping to turn around their miserable start to the 2020-21 season.
Arteta’s side are 15th, just four points above the relegation zone. Last season’s FA Cup success is a distant memory and the Spaniard is aware of the challenge his side are facing against the Blues.
“Chelsea always have a great squad of great players,” Arteta said. “The team that we faced a few months ago [in the FA Cup final] was a top one.
“In this moment, you’re probably talking about the strongest squad in the Premier League. They’re doing a really good job, Frank is doing a really good job.
“He’s got a team full of belief and confidence, and even though they had some defeats, they got back to winning and it’s a team that is going to be fighting for the top spot in the league for sure.”
Arsenal have taken just one point from their last five league games and Arteta’s coaching is coming under more scrutiny with every disappointing result.
He thinks his side have deserved more than they have taken from some games, but he admits his team needs to improve ‘dramatically’.
“We are trying to respond every week, and for different reasons we are not picking up results.
“Whether it’s bad luck or these things that are affecting our results, they have to change dramatically. Those margins make it very difficult to win football matches in the Premier League. We have the opportunity on a very special day here at home against Chelsea, so let’s do it.”
Arteta has said a win over Chelsea would be ‘the best medicine’ for Arsenal’s current ailments but there is no escaping the reality of the league table.
Following the Chelsea game, Arsenal play Brighton and West Brom, two of the teams just below them in the Premier League, before kicking off the defence of their FA Cup crown with a third-round tie against Newcastle.