Arsenal head into today’s clash against Chelsea following two successive victories, scoring six goals and conceding none, but Graham Potter’s side will likely prove a much sterner test than what the Gunners faced over the past week.
Mikel Arteta was able to rotate some of his squad for the visit of Zurich on Thursday night, with the likes of Oleksandr Zincehnko and Thomas Partey starting on the bench, and they will probably come back into the starting XI ahead of the Chelsea tie.
Odegaard is ranked second out of the Arsenal squad with a SofaScore rating of 7.34 following his Premier League performances in the 2022/23 campaign.
The Norwegian has registered six goal contributions (four goals and two assists) in 11 league matches this season and has been an integral component for Arteta as the club have raced to the top of the table.
The 23-year-old leads the way in the squad for big chances created (six) and key passes per match (2.1) and his creative abilities have clearly been on display this season. Chelsea have conceded 15 league goals already, and Arteta will surely be instructing the Arsenal captain to target that leaky defence.
His last league match against Nottingham Forest saw Odegaard net his first league goal since August, and Football London editor Hush Kerai said it was like “watching Bergkamp”. With five key passes from just 69 touches of the ball, it certainly felt like the skipper was playing like the Dutchman in his prime.
It will likely be a tense and nervy affair today, with Chelsea aiming to win just their seventh league match of the campaign, but with the form Arsenal are showing at the moment, Arteta’s men could be too strong for them.
If the Gunners are serious about challenging for the title, then winning matches like this is crucial. With the £115k-per-week Odegaard playing superbly of late, anything seems possible for this Arsenal side.