Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta accepts that he is under pressure to avoid another underwhelming campaign following the arrivals of two more players this week.
The Gunners added Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard to their squad ahead of Sunday’s home Premier League clash with Chelsea, though the latter is not eligible to play.
Arteta’s side have now splashed out a reported £129million on new players this window, which is the most of any side in the division.
After back-to-back eighth-place finishes and a shock loss at newly promoted Brentford in their first game of this season, Arteta cannot afford for Arsenal’s slow start to drag on.
“If you don’t feel pressure in this sport, I think you picked the wrong profession,” he said. “We have the responsibility to do our best in any circumstances.
“We will see where we will finish. It’s been a big turnaround again. We’re going to do it in the right way so that this club is stable.
“You have to try to adapt and do the best that you can. The rest is about results and you know that you’re going to be judged by those results.”
Chelsea kicked off their first full Premier League campaign under Thomas Tuchel with a routine 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The European champions lost both league meetings with Arsenal last season, however, and Tuchel is certainly not writing off Arteta’s men ahead of this London derby at Emirates Stadium.
“In pre-season we saw the energy the stadium could produce when we played there,” Tuchel said.
“They had a bit of a rough start and from their perspective it can be a help that a big rival from within the city arrives.
“It can create a situation where they stick together and try to win their crowd over with a strong performance. So we should be prepared for the best Arsenal possible.”
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is available for selection after recovering from coronavirus, though Alexandre Lacazette and Willian have been self-isolating.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arsenal – Kieran Tierney
As bad as Arsenal were in their opening game, Tierney was a constant threat down the left-hand side and did not deserve to be on the losing side. The Scotland full-back’s six chances created against Brentford was the most by an Arsenal player in a single league game since Alex Iwobi’s seven against Watford in April 2019.
Chelsea – Romelu Lukaku
The Blues looked slick in an attacking sense against Palace and, even though Christian Pulisic is out with coronavirus, their frontline will be even stronger here as Lukaku is now available for selection. He scored 47 goals in two Serie A campaigns with Inter and will be eager to get off the mark should he be handed his second debut for Chelsea this weekend.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Chelsea have only won three of their last 14 games against Arsenal in all competitions (D5 L6), losing each of their last three games against the Gunners (2020 FA Cup final, both 2020-21 Premier League meetings).
– The Blues have won their last four away Premier League London derbies, last winning five in a row between January 2005 and January 2006 under Jose Mourinho.
– Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea in any of their last 10 Premier League meetings on a Sunday (D2 L8) since winning 2-1 in November 2008 at Stamford Bridge. The Gunners are, however, unbeaten in their previous eight Premier League Sunday matches overall (W6 D2).
– Chelsea have won 15 of their last 20 away Premier League matches in August (D3 L2), although this is their first away league match against Arsenal in this month since 1984, when they drew 1-1 at Highbury with Kerry Dixon cancelling out Paul Mariner’s opener for the Gunners.
– Though they have won their first home league game in each of the last two campaigns, Arsenal have lost their first league match at the Emirates in five of the last 10 seasons (W4 D1). The Gunners had only lost their first home league game in five of the previous 29 seasons.