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Dietmar Hamann
Monday, Oct 6, 2014

Sports

How Arsenal can stop high-flying Chelsea

The New Paper | Dietmar Hamann | Monday, Oct 6, 2014

Arsenal have quality in their ranks with the likes of Mesut Oezil (far left) and Alexis Sanchez (left).

Our analyst suggests how Arsenal can stop high-flying Chelsea.

1 STOP DISBELIEVING

The statistics don't look good for Arsenal.

The Gunners have lost 16 out of 20 away games against top-five teams in the English Premiership in the last five seasons.

Last season, they lost at Manchester City 6-3, got beaten 5-1 at Liverpool and, of course, there was that 6-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge.

It could be the nine-year trophy drought that led to a lack of belief.

Mentally, they just didn't seem strong enough.

But I believe that last season's FA Cup win has created a more positive mentality in this team.

I believe the Gunners will not do as badly in away matches as they did last season.

They have already scored late goals against Crystal Palace, Everton, Manchester City and Tottenham when, in seasons past, they would be the ones who suffer from sucker-punches.

Arsenal have a good chance to win the league this season.

They will go far in the Champions League and I don't think they will lose to Chelsea tomorrow.

They are a different team this year with greater strengh in depth after signing Calum Chambers, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.

The former Manchester United man looks like a great signing now playing in his preferred centre forward role, and he will score a lot of goals for Arsenal.

The pace of Sanchez and Welbeck could well make John Terry and Co very uncomfortable.

2 STOP BEING PREDICTABLE

This is one weakness Arsenal need to improve on.

Everyone knows just what they are going to get when they play the Gunners.

Regardless of who their opponents are, Arsenal will seek to dominate possession and try to pass their way to goal.

That's a big risk against Chelsea, who are masters of the counter-attack under Jose Mourinho, who preaches an entirely different, win-at-all-cost philosophy - whoever makes the least mistakes wins, and whoever has the ball most is most likely to make mistakes.

A lot of criticism has been levelled at Arsene Wenger because it seems he is tactically limited.

But perhaps the players themselves should make certain decisions out on the pitch, curbing their attacking instincts and keeping things tight.

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