Paul Merson says: "Chelsea vs Arsenal will be a real tactical battle. The Blues have plenty to do. Arsenal are the polished team whereas Chelsea are just starting out."; Watch Chelsea vs Arsenal on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports from 5pm. Kick-off 5.30pm
Saturday 21 October 2023 18:26, UK
Paul Merson says Arsenal can lay down a marker for the season ahead with a victory at Stamford Bridge live on Sky Sports, but has warned Chelsea can beat anyone.
Arsenal have the chance to move top of the Premier League above rivals Tottenham on Saturday Night Football with a third consecutive victory that would stretch their unbeaten start to nine games.
But Chelsea, despite sitting in 11th, are showing signs of improvement after winning their last two matches and will be looking to cause an upset in front of their home fans in an attempt to break into the top half.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson believes Arsenal's attacking style will suit Chelsea, as it did against Liverpool early in the season, but the visitors can prove their title credentials with a victory over their London rivals.
Read on for the Magic Man's thoughts in full...
Chelsea had a great result against Burnley last time out, but they now have some unbelievably tough fixtures coming up. If they can get through them and get enough points in those games, then you would have to say they are going to be a threat and they have a chance.
But they have not done it against the 'lesser' teams. I have said all along that I think Chelsea will be a better team away from home this season, as they have the pace on the break and teams have to come out. But when teams come and sit 10 men behind the ball, they struggle badly as they do not have the guile to break them down.
Arsenal come to Stamford Bridge this weekend and they will have a go at Chelsea, so it will be interesting. But against the better teams, like Liverpool who had a right go, those are the games Chelsea have played well in this season.
With where Chelsea are in the league, teams will not want to play them because on their day, they can beat anybody and when Raheem Sterling is playing like he did at Burnley, then he is unplayable.
Mauricio Pochettino's side can kick-start their season with a win, but this is also a big game for Arsenal. This can be another marker laid down for them. If they win this game, I'm looking at Arsenal as major, major players.
It's a London derby, a huge game with big players on both sides. However, it comes at a difficult time after the international break.
The managers won't have long to work with the players before it is game time. They'll also be sweating on who comes back fit after the break, especially with the travel some of the players have to do.
In some ways, it is a shame this game comes at this point, and it is why this league is so difficult.
Many of the players will get back on Tuesday, have a recovery session and then just have Thursday and Friday to prepare for such a huge game.
It will come down to who can adapt better and get up to speed quickly after they return to their clubs.
One advantage Chelsea will have is that we virtually know what the Arsenal team is going to be. On the other hand, we have no idea what the Chelsea team will be.
Sky Sports' Paul Merson:
You take away Arsenal and Man City, who will finish in the top two this season, then there are seven sides competing for three remaining Champions League places - so it is going to come down to consistency.
All these teams at the moment can beat each other on their day, we have seen that already this season and it is whoever stays consistent. Man Utd are in the race for the top five. I like Rasmus Hojlund up front, he will score goals but they, like all these teams, just need to get some consistency.
Mykhailo Mudryk is a name that comes up when these two teams meet because of the transfer saga to sign him.
He's a young kid who has come over from a country where there is a war going on. You have to take this into consideration when judging his football. He'll have friends over in Ukraine and that will take its toll.
However, you don't get signed for the money he has if you aren't a player.
We have seen glimpses of it but now there needs to be consistency. We've seen probably fours out of 10 and then an eight, but what we need to see from him is sevens and eights consistently.
He scored the other week against Fulham but was then out of the team against Burnley, which doesn't help him. Suddenly, he was on the bench, but he probably just needs a run.
He was also on the scoresheet for Ukraine in midweek which will further boost his confidence, and Pochettino may think unleashing him on Arsenal is a gamble worth taking.
Raheem Sterling should start on the right and look to hug the touchline and capitalise should Oleksandr Zinchenko invert into midfield and leave his left-back spot.
This will be a real tactical battle on Saturday. Arsenal are the polished team whereas Chelsea are just starting out.
Watch Chelsea vs Arsenal on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm. Kick-off 5.30pm