With Grand-Slam Sunday only hours away, Frank Lampard has come out to say that he is more than impressed with Arsenal’s run this season. The Gunners are currently leading the Premier League table ahead of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool – however, they are without midfielders Aleksandr Hleb, Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini. Chelsea are without striker Didier Drogba but they are currently filled with confidence, especially for the game at the Emirates. Lampard said:
“Arsenal deserve all the credit they get because they’ve been playing fantastic football. They’ve been a great team to watch and I think the reason everyone has been so excited about it is they’ve maybe caught teams unawares.
“Everyone knew they had good young players but no one expected them to play so consistently well and score so many goals. Probably one of our downfalls is that people have been expecting unbelievable things because we’ve been winning things for the last few years so they don’t talk us up so much.
“But Arsenal deserve all the credit they get this season and we’re obviously two teams who play with different styles and that will be one of the fascinating things to see on the day. What’s nice for us is that we’ve narrowed the gap over the last month. There was a point where we were possibly double figures behind Arsenal with their game in hand and we’ve put ourselves in a position where we could go level on points.
“That’s a great confidence-booster for us. I think it was inevitable that Arsenal weren’t going to keep winning. It’s very hard to keep that level up, especially when you go to places like Newcastle and Middlesbrough. So we’re back in the hunt and looking forward to the chance to show what we can do against the top teams.”
“You like to play and test yourself against the best, you don’t want people saying afterwards that there were any excuses either way.
“But maybe it’s for them to stay strong without two of their big players. We’ve had to do that all season and we’ll go there without probably the best striker in the world (Drogba).”
Can Chelsea dismantle this weakened Arsenal side? Or will the mastermind of Arsene Wenger, the leadership of William Gallas, the pace of Theo Walcott and the skill of Robin van Persie prove to be too strong for Avram Grant’s Blues?