Former Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness is backing Arsenal to beat Chelsea on Sunday, highlighting the hosts’ newfound ability to win games without dominating possession.
He told Sky Sports: "I have got to fancy Arsenal, they are a team playing with their tails up. I think that Arsenal this year, when you look at the results that they have dug out, they are winning games now without dominating the ball.
“Previously Arsenal for me had to be on the front foot from the first to the 90th minute and be convincing in that. Now they can be less spectacular, dominant and they can still win games.
“And I think a large part of that is down to the confidence they have in Petr Cech in goal."
Arsenal’s record against Chelsea isn’t particularly good, and even considering the Blues’ disastrous form this season they still pose an obvious threat from years gone by.
However, Arsene Wenger’s men are a different proposition nowadays and they are no longer susceptible to such hardy tactics, illustrated by their recent 0-0 draw at Stoke City.
The arrival of Petr Cech has improved the team’s organisation at the back, but arguably more importantly the confidence between both the goalkeeper and the back four.
It’s no coincidence that Laurent Koscielny is arguably having his best season in an Arsenal shirt with Cech behind him, and that solidarity filters through the entire first-team eleven.
Arsenal lost the reverse fixture Stamford Bridge, going down 2-0 with Diego Costa a real menace.
The visitors will look is disrupt the hosts’ rhythm, with the first goal of the game likely to be critical.