February 2, 2017 / 1:13 PM / 10 months ago

Chelsea v Arsenal - the fans' view

LONDON (Reuters) - Leaders Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Britain Football Soccer - Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League - Anfield - 31/1/17 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic/File Photo

Although third-placed Arsenal won 3-0 when the sides met in the Premier League earlier this season, Chelsea’s impressive form since then has helped them to win 17 of their last 20 games across all competitions.

Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:

Ceri Levy, The Chels Podcast: www.ChelseaPodcast.net

”I always thought that the game against Liverpool would be tough especially after their recent performances. The draw still keeps us firmly in the driving seat and we extended our lead over Arsenal so not a bad night’s work overall.

”This fixture (v Arsenal) is always intriguing. We have had the wood over them for the last few years and a fixture that historically filled me with fear is now something I look forward to.

”I think we will win 3-1 this weekend. I believe we will overrun their defence and if they have not sorted out how to keep calm they will disintegrate.

”I am interested to see if Gabriel plays because he seems so nervous whenever (Diego) Costa is about and in form.

”But Costa’s penalty miss at Anfield could be important for Arsenal as it reminded Diego that he has flaws. When he was subbed against Liverpool you could see him chuntering away. It’s a good sign for the Blues but a bad sign for Arsenal’s defenders. Bring it on!

Britain Football Soccer - Arsenal v Watford - Premier League - Emirates Stadium - 31/1/17 Arsenal mascot before the match Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic/File Photo

”You can never be overly confident when it comes to the title race. There are still areas for improvement but I do believe that with the way the players are performing we have to believe we can win the title.

“If we beat Arsenal on Saturday I would suggest that may be the death knell ringing out across the land for all the other title contenders.”

Akhil Vyas, Arsenal Supporters Trust, www.arsenaltrust.org

”Arsenal’s defeat to Watford (on Tuesday) was a decisive blow. We have left ourselves with no margin for error at Stamford Bridge this weekend. We missed the chance to close the gap at the top and pull away from (fourth-placed) Liverpool and (second-placed) Spurs.

”It’s hard not to lose faith in the title when you lose at home to Watford - with respect - and you are sitting nine points behind the leaders.

”If we had taken three points in midweek then we would be going into this game full of confidence. Now we know another defeat will end any faint hopes of a title challenge so we’re looking at this fixture with fear.

”Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil were the four that played in the 3-0 win against Chelsea earlier this season. It could be the same line up again.

”I hope Arsenal return to the way they played earlier in the season, with pace, intensity and purpose. If we play like that then we can hurt Chelsea.

”It’s difficult to say if Arsene Wenger’s touchline ban is to blame because it didn’t seem to affect us at St Mary’s Stadium (where we beat Southampton 5-0 last weekend). But it seemed quite chaotic with no visible formation and players were all over the place again on Tuesday (against Watford).

“I’ll go for a 1-1 but it could easily go 2-1 either way. Stopping Diego Costa is obviously going to be key. It’s important not to get involved with him but keep winning those key moments and frustrate him.”

Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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