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Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

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  • Arsenal leads all-time 74W-56D-62L
  • Arsenal won Community Shield in pens
  • Drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in Sept.

Chelsea and Arsenal review their even rivalry Wednesday in a midweek marvel at the Emirates Stadium (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Gunners’ boss, Arsene Wenger, is under a bit of fire, charged by the FA for entering the referees’ room after Arsenal’s draw with West Brom, raging about a penalty call from Mike Dean off a controversially-deemed handball.

Arsenal drew first blood in the series when it took the Community Shield in penalty kicks following 1-1 over 120 minutes, but Chelsea held the Gunners to 0-0 one month later in league play.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Arsenal is without several players as their injury concerns continue to mount, with Sead Kolasinac out and both Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny doubts. Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud, and Aaron Ramsey remain out of the lineup.

Antonio Conte‘s Blues can climb back about Manchester United and into second place with a win, while Arsenal needs a win to stay within three points of surging Liverpool.

What they’re saying

Wenger on Arsenal’s plans in the January transfer window“We are open in any position for the exceptional player who can give us a plus. Of course it depends a little bit on the injuries as well and on the other hand I must say it depends on who will manage to extend the contracts of the players who are at the end of their contracts in June. It will depend on that as well because we will have to take the consequences of these decisions and respond to it.”

Conte is focusing on Arsenal, not transfers“For us in this period we must be very focused on our target and tomorrow we have a really tough game against Arsenal. We have to find the right concentration. When you play against Arsenal every game is very important and tomorrow’s game is very important for the league. For sure we want to try our best and get three points and also to give satisfaction to our fans.”

Prediction

The series of stalemates continue, as defense is somewhat optional in a 2-2 draw in the home of the Gunners.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.