Arsenal v CHELSEA: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Date: Monday, 23 December

Kick-off: 20.00 GMT

Well, Arsenal were well and truly found out in their last game with a 6-3 defeat to City but then our exit to Sunderland in the cup wasn’t exactly convincing either. So probably the less we dwell on recent form the better going into tonight’s away game at the Emirates.

Of course, we’ve already beat them there in the League cup this season and Jose Mourinho, as we know has previously enjoyed the upper hand over Wenger but given this is an entirely new era (and seemingly an entirely new Chelsea) under Jose, it remains to be seen whether that particular ‘old habit’ dies hard or not.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into tonight’s game against his old rival, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists “I thought Mourinho would come back. It is the same with players, they come to England then they say, ‘Maybe I’ll go to Italy or to Spain’ – but they always come back.  Why? Because this is a football country. The No.1 football country in the world, that is why everybody comes back.  There is something special in this country, something unique about the game.  The foreign managers do not always like everything here, but they all like to come back.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says “I think, in the deep of their souls, they [Arsenal] think they can [win the title], they believe they have the conditions to do it.  In my previous time here, Walcott was a kid. He’s now a man. Other players are in the best moment of their careers – Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs.  I’m not saying Mesut transformed the team completely. The manager and the club has given players conditions and time to have great stability in their evolution. And now, when you buy Giroud and now Özil and some other players, the team becomes much better and ready to be doing what they are doing which is to fight for the title.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Arsenal, Yaya Sanogo (back), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all injured, Laurent Koscielny (knee) is a doubt, Wilshere is suspended (idiot) although Lukas Podolski (hamstring) is available again.  

For Chelsea, Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee, Ivanovic is available after serving a one-match ban but Essien takes his place on the naughty step after getting a fifth yellow at Sunderland. Cole meanwhile, just gets the bench.

 

TEAMS

ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta,  Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle, Eto’o 

 

LAST SEASON

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (29th September 2012)

 

PREDICTION

I could have the right hump after this game.

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