Martin Keown thinks Arsenal will go on the attack in top-two tussle with Chelsea

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (R) celebrates with Santi Cazorla (L), Mesut Oezil (2L) and Gabriel (2R) as he scores their second g
Image: Arsenal have won their past nine games

Martin Keown believes Arsenal will adopt an attack-minded approach against Chelsea when the Premier League's top two meet on Sunday.

The Blues travel to the Emirates Stadium with a 10-point advantage over their north London rivals, who go into the game on the back of a nine-match winning streak which has seen them rise to second in the table and power into the FA Cup final for the second season running.

That run – in which they have recorded wins at Manchester City and Manchester United in addition to a 4-1 home victory over Liverpool – means Arsenal will be in confident mood.

Their former central defender Keown wants the Gunners to build on that and thinks they will play a front-foot strategy in the Sunday tea-time game, which is live on Sky Sports 1.

It's all about getting the right balance in midfield. I think Arsenal will look to take the game to Chelsea.
Martin Keown

“Arsene Wenger hasn’t gone with two holding midfielders very often, he likes to be creative in that midfield area,” Keown - speaking on behalf of England team sponsor Vauxhall - told the Morning View on Sky Sports News HQ.

“That has actually been a little bit of a weakness for Chelsea this season. Cesc Fabregas has played that role for them and Nemanja Matic has done it.

“So it’s about getting the right balance in midfield. I think Arsenal will look to take the game to Chelsea and Chelsea will maybe use an extra midfield player in there.

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“Jose Mourinho usually finds a tactic to stop the opposition from playing and Wenger tends to just go for it.”


Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea since October 2011, when a Robin van Persie hat-trick paved the way for a 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were 2-0 winners on their own ground when the sides met earlier this season and consigned Arsenal to a humbling 6-0 loss at the back end of last season - continuing Wenger's dismal record of never having beaten a side managed by Mourinho.

But Keown feels the gap between the teams has narrowed in the past few months.

“Chelsea have been a bogey team for Arsenal and I can’t remember the last time that they beat them,” said Keown.

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“They will be worthy champions because they have a good balance to their team and Eden Hazard has been the stand-out player in the league this season.

“There is a freshness about Arsenal, and Chelsea will want to keep a foot on them because I feel they can be real challengers next season.

“There is much more belief among Arsenal this season, there is an internal competition and I think the Arsenal players can’t wait to take on Chelsea.”

Watch Arsenal v Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Sunday from 3.30pm on Sunday

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