Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 20 January
Oh dear God we’re at home!
Not something you’d expect to hear from supporters as a rule but given our woeful form at Stamford Bridge since we’ve had this interim manager, it’s hardly surprising we dread home games now.
Wednesday’s game against Southampton definitely hasn’t helped either but whatever was said during the half-time talk was clearly as rousing as a handful of sedatives.
As for Arsenal, well they’re all still celebrating their season’s greatest achievement – getting Walcott’s contract.
Going into today’s game, Arsene Wenger on his counterpart says “I feel sympathy for every manager until the day I play against him. Then the sympathy goes and comes back after the game – not always straight after the game, sometimes it is some time later. We are all in the same position. We know we are in a fragile job and that the confidence is very important, but it is a job where you have to take care of your own team.”
Whilst on the game, Wenger says “Both teams have attacking styles. Chelsea is today a team who has many good attacking players so it should be a game with goal chances. We will not change our style too much, so we will try to attack and try to create chances.”
For Chelsea, Oriol Romeu remains out long-term, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are at the Africa Cup of Nations although John Terry could make his first start since November.
For Arsenal, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky (both calf) are injured, Gervinho is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast but Koscielny is available again after suspension.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Hazard, Mata, Oscar; Ba.
ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Diaby, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Walcott.
Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal (29th October 2011)
We’ve lost as many home games as we’ve won against Arsenal in the Premier League (W7, D6, L7). And whilst under Benitez, we’ve won just one from six games at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five away in the Premier League. To be honest, even if we go ahead in the first half I won’t be getting too excited considering Arsenal aren’t exactly unfamiliar with conceding first half goals this season – and we came unstuck when they scored two late one’s in this fixture last season.