Chelsea Strongest Squad in Premier League Says Mikel Arteta


Ahead of their Boxing Day meeting, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had some high praise for his opponent, Chelsea FC. The under fire Gunners boss said the opposing team in the much anticipated London derby currently has the strongest side in the entire Premier League.

The Blues won the summer transfer window, hands down, and all the high priced talent that they added to a squad that finished in the top four last season has many expecting the west London club to be title contenders in 20/21.

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Boxing Day London Derby FYIs

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here

Chelsea team news: go here

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Kick off: 5:30pm GMT, Sat Dec 26, Emirates Stadium

TV (US)/Online: NBC/

Odds: Arsenal win +280  Draw +260  Chelsea win -110

Chelsea currently sit fifth in the table, but they are only six points behind league leaders Liverpool. They are 11 points ahead of Arsenal though, who are way down at 15th. Arsenal are off to their worst start since 1974, but for now, Arteta still has the backing of his bosses.

“Obviously, Chelsea always have a great squad of great players. The team that we faced a few months ago was a top one,” Arteta said.

“In this moment, you’re probably talking about the strongest squad in the Premier League.

“They’re doing a really good job, Frank [Lampard] is doing a really good job. He’s got a team full of belief and confidence, and even though they had some defeats, they got back to winning on Monday [beating West Ham 3-0] and it’s a team that is going to be fighting for the top spot in the league for sure.

“I wouldn’t like to compare [them with Arsenal]. What they did seems to be working fine and at the moment we are not there.”

While Arteta is not under immediate threat of getting the sack, if the team continues to hover near the drop zone, he could be in real trouble. If things worsen in north London, then his seat will be scorching hot. Winning cures everything, and the Spaniard definitely knows that.

“I think the medicine for all of us would be to come here against Chelsea, beat them and then move from there,” Arteta added.

“It’s exactly what we all need.”

Arteta and his side are underdogs tonight, but they aren’t huge underdogs. A result isn’t completely out of the question, and should the hosts accomplish the upset, it could be the start of something. Getting a victory over an arch-rival might kickstart their season, maybe.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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