Chelsea will beat Arsenal, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink tells Premier League Daily

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink thinks Arsenal's style will play into Chelsea's hands at Stamford Bridge
Image: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink thinks Arsenal's style will play into Chelsea's hands at Stamford Bridge

Arsenal's desperation for a win on Saturday will play right into Chelsea's hands, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has told Premier League Daily.

Tuesday's home defeat by Watford means Arsenal go to Stamford Bridge nine points behind the league leaders, who they beat 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium in September.

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That defeat prompted Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte to switch to a three-man defence and his side have lost just one of their 17 league games since.

Former Blues striker Hasselbaink believes their current system is perfectly designed to counter Arsenal's possession-based attacking game and can only see one outcome in the Sky Live game.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31:  Younes Kaboul (C) of Watford celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mate Tom Cleverley (2nd L) during the Premier
Image: Arsenal's defeat by Watford means they go to Chelsea nine points behind

"The beauty is Arsenal have to win to give themselves a chance," he said. "That is actually great for Chelsea because Chelsea is a different animal when the opposition is open.

"They're so organised, and very comfortable without the ball. They're going to have spells where they're not going to have the ball because Arsenal are fluent and can keep it for long spells. I can only see a Chelsea win."

Gary Cahill looks to the sky after Arsenal score the Emirates Stadium
Image: Chelsea were beaten 3-0 at Arsenal earlier this season, prompting a change in system

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has said the match is the Gunners' last opportunity to remain in the title race but Hasselbaink thinks even three points for Arsene Wenger's side might not be enough to rekindle their chances.

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"I think it's already very difficult for Arsenal, losing or not," Hasselbaink added.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has credited N'Golo Kante with turning Chelsea into title favourites and admits he twice failed to sign the midfielder.

"They still have to play Liverpool, Spurs, the two Manchester teams. Even if they win it's going to be difficult. If they lose it's 100 per cent finished."

Nigel Winterburn, scorer of a famous Arsenal winner at Chelsea in 1997, stopped short of writing off his former club but called for a performance of real unity in Wenger's ongoing absence from the dugout.

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"Arsenal have to go and try and win this game - a defeat will make it almost impossible for them to win the title," he said.

"When you walk out of that tunnel your focus has to be right and the intensity of the individual and collective performance has to be right.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was sent off playing for Chelsea against Arsenal in 2001
Image: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was sent off playing for Chelsea against Arsenal in 2001

"It's up to each player to be assessing his team-mates and, if he thinks they're slightly off the pace, to have the confidence to gee them up. They are going to need 11 players at their highest level for 90 minutes to come away with victory.

"Arsene Wenger's got to do all his preparation before and then he has to trust his players and team to deliver a massive performance."

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