CHELSEA v Arsenal: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 5 October
Kick-off: 14:05 GMT

If they’ve managed to come back down to earth after the euphoria of scoring a few goals against Galatasaray midweek, this afternoon’s early kick off sees us play host to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge
This is a pretty buoyant Arsenal side as well, with Danny Wellbeck’s six goals in his last six games, making him look a much bigger fish now he’s in a smaller pond – although to be fair, my mum could probably have had a hattrick against Galatasaray’s defence. Our defence is another matter, with 9 clean sheets from 11 at home and we’re not exactly shoddy up front so far this season either, with 19 goals compared to 7 at the same point last season.
We made Arsene Wenger’s 1000th Arsenal game an occasion to be remembered, by thumping them 6-0 at Stamford Bridge. By sheer coincidence, to mark 18 years as the Arsenal manager, Wenger again finds himself up against Jose Mourinho – the manager he hasn’t managed a win against in 11 previous meetings.
Not that he’s bitter about it or anything.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Ahead of this afternoon’s game, it was always inevitable the ‘specialist in failure’ saga would rear its head. On that subject, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says “I don’t apologise, he didn’t apologise. My feeling is not to go over it – forget it, to move forwards without thinking about what happened. He doesn’t need to apologise, so I don’t need an apology or to apologise. Intelligent football people don’t need that, it’s finished. Let’s go for another match with big responsibilities for both of us.”
Not that reliving the past is always a negative thing though, because on this fixture last season, Mourinho says “The 6-0 is once every 50 years, it is not year after year. It’s something that happens occasionally, it’s once in a life, it’s not normal. Chelsea versus Arsenal is normally close, it happened once. A bad day for them, an unbelievable day for us.
But me against Arsène Wenger? I never had the pleasure of playing against him one against one, I’ve never played him at beach soccer, it’s always between Chelsea and Arsenal and Sunday’s game is out of context to the past. What happened in the past, happened in the past.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger obviously has a different view of that game, saying “It was not a bad day, it was a horrendous day for us and we never forget that day. We have an opportunity to put it right and of course are hugely determined, with a big hunger, to put that right. I’m confident we’ll take the chance to do it. Football is not made of history, football is made of performance.”
I’m not sure what Liverpool would make of a statement like that but onto the present and Wenger says of the striker his side will have to face today “I’m impressed by how well Costa has done and he has all the aspects of a striker you like. He has a killer determination. You feel, ‘he’s a killer this guy’. He has that in him.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Ramires (groin) is injured and Arsenal will no doubt be delighted to hear Didier Drogba (ankle) is another absentee today, so Loic Remy will likely be on the bench with Diego Costa expected to start his third game in nine days.
For Arsenal, Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) and Olivier Giroud (fractured foot) are long-term absentees. Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Mikel Arteta (calf) remain out and Abou Diaby (hip) is expected to be rested. Nacho Monreal (back) is thought to be available again and Theo Walcott (knee) and Serge Gnabry (knee) are in line to return after the international break, along with striker Yaya Sanogo (hamstring).

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Costa
ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Szczesny, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Sanchez, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal (22 March 2014)

OTHER STUFF
• Chelsea won this fixture 6-0 in March
• Arsene Wenger has failed to win any of his 11 previous meetings with Jose Mourinho (D5, L6).
• Chelsea are unbeaten in their last six league and cup games against Arsenal (W4, D2)
• Arsenal’s last five Premier League wins at Stamford Bridge have seen them come from behind to win.
• Chelsea have scored 19 league goals in their opening six games
• Diego Costa has scored eight goals in his first six Premier League games
• Chelsea have kept nine clean sheets in their last 11 Premier League home games.
• Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 league games (W7, D4), although they have drawn 4 of their last five top-flight fixtures.
• Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in their last nine visits
• 5 of the 7 Arsenal have conceded in the PL this season have come before half-time.

PREDICTION
Wenger has never managed to conquer this nemesis, which really is a special kind of failure given the “big hunger” he suggests Arsenal have to beat us. Of course, we won’t have Didier Drogba to terrorise them for this one but we do have Diego Costa if his hamstring copes with his third start in 9 days. Whilst Wellbeck for them, will be looking for the chance to prove Galatasaray wasn’t a fluke.
My prediction though? I reckon the keeper’s might be in for a busy day!

2 Responses to “CHELSEA v Arsenal: Preview”

  1. “although to be fair, my mum could probably have had a hattrick against Galatasaray’s defence.” So why didn’t any of your players score a hattrick last time u met

  2. Chelsea will score 2 ,Arsenal 1(if they were lucky)