After a crushing domestic loss, especially one in which Brighton & Hove Albion taught former manager Graham Potter a footballing lesson in a 4-1 Amex romp, winning in Europe is always the perfect pick-me-up.
However, Chelsea had to work hard for their victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
Bruno Petkovic snuck in and opened the scoring after just seven minutes, but Raheem Sterling and debutant Denis Zakaria completed a much-needed turnaround for the Blues in the English capital.
Potter chose to start a strong lineup despite having already led his team through as group winners.
Even though the Blues’ outstanding defensive run under Potter was broken, the Englishman’s start of just one loss in 11 games is far from his worst.
Although his side do have some ground to make up in the Premier League table as they lie in sixth position, three points behind Newcastle United in fourth with a game in hand.
For Chelsea to move up this weekend, results would need to go their way and a 12-goal swing, but Stamford Bridge has been kind to the Blues recently as they have gone unbeaten in 12 straight games in all competitions in front of their home crowd.
However, Stamford Bridge has recently been a happy hunting ground for the North London club and Arsenal was the most recent team to defeat Chelsea at home, so Potter and company will place a high priority on making the most of their additional 24 hours of rest.
Contrarily, Arsenal attempted to bounce back from a European loss with a Premier League victory last weekend, and the Gunners undoubtedly showed a clinical edge that has been lacking frequently lately, defeating Nottingham Forest by five goals without answering even after Bukayo Saka was forced off injured.
Although Kieran Tierney’s sweetly struck half-volley gave Arsenal the lead against FC Zurich in the Europa League this week, they were unable to hold on for the tense 1-0 victory that advanced them directly to the round of 16.
Despite this, the Gunners’ inability to close out games when they were ahead appeared once again.
Avoiding an extra playoff tie against an eliminated Champions League club is a touch of gold for Arsenal, who enter the weekend still two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, but they could be knocked down to second by Sunday if the champions beat Fulham.
Arsenal has dropped five points in the Premier League this season, all of which have come on the road.
Despite this, they continue to be the best away team in the league and have only allowed four goals on the opposing team’s field thus far, which is the best record of its kind in the league.
Arsenal is attempting to win three straight Premier League London derbies away from home without conceding for the very first time.
Arteta has led the Gunners to two consecutive victories at Stamford Bridge in the last two seasons, with a 2-0 victory for Chelsea at the Emirates sandwiched in between.
The match is a close one as both the teams have the calibre to take all 3 points on their day, and the odds suggest that.
Chelsea being the home side are slightly the favourites to win this one with odds of 2.7.
Arsenal are not far off though, their chances of winning are at 2.75. The possibility of a stalemate stands the farthest at 3.52.
It’s a big game for the both the sides and beyond the logistics of points and position on the table, this contest is about pride.
This contest is about winning London!