Premier League fans have waited eagerly for one of London’s most anticipated local derbies between Chelsea and Arsenal, and the waiting will come to a halt when the match finally takes place on Sept. 19. According to international ticketing firm Ticketbis, as much as this matchup is being hyped overseas, it has also managed to spark notable interest among United States soccer fans as well.
“We always see a huge amount of international sales for games involving top-tier English teams,” said Ticketbis CEO Ander Michelena. “However, most tend to come from countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, or Saudi Arabia, so it’s surprising to see that in the case of Saturday’s matchup, that most are coming from the U.S.”
The secondary ticketing firm has registered more than 10 percent of total sales for Saturday’s affair coming from the U.S. This is rare because generally, U.S. sales across all Premier League matches average at less than 3 percent.
The high number of sales can partly be attributed to the game taking place in September, a popular month for Americans to travel to Europe. Nevertheless, despite it being so early in the season, winning will be extremely important for both sides, making it one of the most exciting matches of the season thus far.
The match will be played in Stamford Bridge, giving the Blues the home-field advantage. Yet, Jose Mourinho’s side has suffered one of their worst starts in decades. Last Saturday’s defeat at Everton left Chelsea 11 points from first-place holders Manchester City, miraculously leaving the team in 17th place out of 20 clubs.
Arsenal, on the other hand, has not won a domestic league title in over a decade. This year could be their chance for a return to prominence, but the Gunners struggled against the Blues throughout last season. As a result, this is a contest that could ultimately springboard Arsenal if they can take care of their nemesis on the field.
Either way you look at it, both teams have a lot to lose on Saturday, making it one of the more tempting games to attend throughout the campaign.