Arsenal’s troubled start to the Premier League season could get worse before it gets better as they prepare to host Chelsea this weekend before a trip to champions Manchester City a week later.
Whereas Chelsea are still basking in becoming European champions and look well-equipped for a title challenge, Arsenal appear to be a club in transition as they seek to recover from finishing last season in eighth place.
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There are also reports of friction between Arteta and club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed training on Wednesday and is doubtful for Sunday’s clash with Chelsea along with fellow forward Alexandre Lacazette.
It is all in stark contrast to the mood at Chelsea who will probably hand a second debut to new £97 million striker Romelu Lukaku this weekend.
Lukaku, unavailable for Chelsea’s 3-0 opening day cruise past Crystal Palace, looks like being the final piece in Tuchel’s jigsaw puzzle — a genuine number nine who will give his manager yet another attacking option.
“I’ve done a full pre-season. For now, I just want to get to know my team mates better,” the Belgium striker who joined from Inter Milan said this week.
“The English game is different but, for me, it’s not something new. Whatever plan the coach has, I can adapt myself and help the team.”
Liverpool kick off the weekend with a home game against Burnley on Saturday lunchtime while later in the day champions Manchester City host Norwich City as they seek to bounce back from their surprise opening day defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.