Francis Coquelin has been in phenomenal form this season, and has proved himself a vital part of the Arsenal machine. He is once again likely to play a hugely important role when Chelsea head to the Emirates this Sunday, with his ability to stamp out a counter attack sure to be a key factor in deciding the result.
Chelsea have all but won the Premier League title already, and even if we get the win this weekend we are unlikely to catch them. Jose Mourinho may therefore deploy a defensive strategy, and try not to lose rather than going for the win.
With the Portuguese boss known for parking the bus, we may be facing a team with 11 men behind the ball. They will look to hit us on the counter, which is where our midfield enforcer will prove his worth.
We’ve seen in recent weeks how he excels at breaking up attacks, and his energy, mobility, and ability to read the game allows him to cut out counter attacks before they even have a chance to begin.
Our 1-0 win over Burnley was more of a struggle than we would have liked it to be, especially off the back of our dominant 4-1 win over Liverpool. It could have been far worse if it weren’t for Coquelin however, who played a key role in the win.
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Sean Dyche’s side played a defensive game – as was expected – and we found them difficult to break down. We were therefore forced to push further up the field, leaving more space for Burnley to break into.
Despite the fact that we were often left short at the back however, Burnley rarely threatened on the counter-attack. This was down to Coquelin, who read the danger, and regularly cut it out at the source.
This is likely to be the same story with Chelsea, although admittedly the players charging towards our goal will be of a far higher quality. Hopefully Coquelin will be able to contain the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian – whose pace will no doubt cause us some problems.
Arsene Wenger will be keen to end his poor run against Mourinho, and he will be hoping his (newly nicknamed) police officer can help with that.