Arsenal v CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Sunday, 26 April
Kick-off: 16:00 BST

So, today’s late game sees us pop over to the Emirates to face an Arsenal side some ten points behind us in the league, yet presumably hoping this game turns into a 6-pointer.
They’re certainly the team in form, with nine wins in their last nine games and in spite of Wenger’s record against Mourinho, possibly even the favourites to get a win this afternoon.
For Chelsea, who seem to have reverted to the famous Mourinho solid 1-0 wins to safeguard their own title hopes this season, it will no doubt be a bit of an edgy affair. With Loic Remy out, Didier Drogba still bullish and dogged, yet lacking the pace of his former years, and Diego Costa unlikely to be risked anywhere except the bench, we needn’t expect anything fancy again. What we’ll need, against the likes of Sanchez and Giroud will be another gritty, determined display that gives the pundits and purists plenty to moan about. If it gives us the required outcome though, I’m sure we couldn’t care less.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into this afternoon’s game, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists “I think we have not always lost in 12 attempts. We have been close. Having said that, the result on Sunday will just be down to the performance on the day. We are on a good run and we have an opportunity at home to beat them and we want to take it. We have a good run of form and good belief and solidarity. We have passed many tests recently when we were questioned. We have another test on Sunday that we want to pass. Chelsea’s strengths are they have been very efficient on counter attacks and set-pieces as well. We have to nullify their strengths.”
On their outside chance of the title, Wenger says “Mathematically it will be possible, but Chelsea has their future and the championship in their hands. We can get closer and we have an opportunity to do that at home and want to take it. They have been very consistent until now. They have fewer losses than any team. The Premier League rewards consistency. On that front they gave been defensively very strong and consistent.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, half accepts the numbers game, saying “We are the best team since day one and we want to be the best team until the last day. But, mathematically, they can still be champions. It matters what I feel, not what people feel, think or say.”
Whilst on questions over our recent style of football, Mourinho says “We lost progressively the balance of our team. When you lose crucial pieces, the team loses certain qualities. The switch in style was just a consequence of things. I hope to start next season the same way we started this season. This is the way we want to play, this is the way we played during the season, and the team we enjoy more. But it’s (also) very enjoyable to deal with a difficult moment, to deal in a strategic way. When you are in the sea and have no boat, you need something to survive. A raft. In football, team spirit and team ethics and strategy is this.
If we manage to win the Premier League, we did everything right. Looking at where Chelsea were in the last four or five years, in terms of the Premier League, it means a lot. I think it’s a great achievement for us.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Arsenal, Mikel Arteta (ankle) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) are out and Per Mertesacker (ankle) is given as 50-50. David Ospina, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal are expected to return.
For Chelsea, Loic Remy (ankle) is still out although Didier Drogba (ankle) is clear to play. Jose Mourinho will make a late decision on Diego Costa.

TEAMS
ARSENAL (Possible line-up): Ospina – Paulista – Koscielny – Bellerin – Monreal – Coquelin – Cazorla – Sanchez – Ozil – Ramsey – Giroud
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois – Terry – Ivanovic – Cahill – Azpilicueta – Fabregas – Matic – Zouma – Hazard – Oscar – Drogba

LAST SEASON
Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea (23rd December 2013)

RECENT FORM
Arsenal: WWWWWW
Chelsea: WDWWWW

OTHER STUFF
•Arsenal have failed to score in any of their last four meetings with Chelsea
•Arsenal have conceded 10 in our last four meetings
•Arsenal have won just two of their last 12 league games against Chelsea
•Arsenal’s last home win over Chelsea was 2010.
•Arsenal are aiming for a ninth consecutive league win
•Arsenal are looking for a 10th consecutive league victory at the Emirates.
•It is over a year since Arsenal last failed to score in a league match at the Emirates
•Chelsea are looking for a fifth consecutive Premier League victory
•Chelsea are aiming for a sixth consecutive away victory in the top flight.
•Chelsea have scored in their last 19 league games
•Jose Mourinho has never lost as an opposition coach against Arsene Wenger
•Chelsea have scored first in all 20 of their games in all competitions in 2015.

PREDICTION
You know what? We are so, so close to the title I can’t even bear thinking about the result today. I wouldn’t put it past Wenger’s lot to drag it out for us though!

One Response to “Arsenal v CHELSEA: Preview”

  1. The boys earned a deserved point.