Arsenal are winless in seven league games (D2, L5), leaving them 15th and on-course for a meagre 38-point tally, That has been sufficient for survival in 80% of the prior 20-team Premier League (PL) seasons (1995-2020), but Arsenal's projected tally will drop to 35 if they lose here. A 35-point haul was enough in only 48% of those 25 seasons.
In the bottom half for a second Christmas running, Arsenal lost this fixture - also Mikel Arteta's very first home game in charge - in agonising fashion last season. They went down 2-1 to a quick brace beyond the 80th minute, though each of their six PL home H2Hs immediately prior to it saw the HT/FT results match.
Chelsea have the opportunity to complete a run of successive PL wins at Arsenal for the first time since 2009, notably leading at HT in nine of their previous 12 away league victories in the prelude to this game. Despite that, the 'Blues' have registered 75% of their PL away goals this term after the break.
Before Roman Abramovich's takeover of Chelsea in 2003, their loss rate in PL trips to Arsenal stood at 72.73%, with a 2-1 Boxing Day defeat (in 2001) amongst that return. That rate has plunged to 35.29% since the start of 2003/04, and three (60%) of Chelsea's last five PL away wins vs Arsenal have yielded a HT/FT double plus a first-half shutout.
Players to watch: Arsenal winger Willian faces his old club - his last goalscoring London derby saw him score twice but end up losing! Visiting striker Tammy Abraham scored a brace vs West Ham (Dec 21) and the deciding goal in last season's H2H here. Each of his six prior PL strikes vs London clubs have come in victories witnessing over 1.5 total goals.
Hot stat: Against all London clubs, Chelsea have won 134 (a 51.74% majority) of their 259 prior capital derbies in the PL.