Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will renew their rivalry in Saturday’s lunch time kick off as Chelsea host Arsenal at the Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea wallowing in 17th position and enduring their worst league start in almost three decades, Mourinho and his lads will draw succour from Wednesday’s victory in the UEFA Champions League, as Chelsea recorded English football’s solitary positive result. While, in Zagreb, it was a case of back to the drawing board for Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho: “I forgot the feeling. For so long we don’t win a game, so good, a good feeling,” he beamed, via BT Sport.
“I am a fantastic manager when I win matches and I am a fantastic manager when I lose matches.”
Mourinho hopes to continue his bully over Wenger.
Arsene Wenger has won just once against Mourinho in 14 attempts spreading over 11 years (D6 L7), with the win coming in their last meeting in the Community Shield (in August, 2015). But, The Gunners have won seven and lost none of their last eight Premier League away matches.
Chelsea will garner strength from the fact that they are unbeaten against Arsenal in their last seven Premier League encounters (W4 D3), and Mourinho having never lost successive league home games as a manager – he lost his last home league game against Crystal Palace (1-2).
The Gunners have failed to score in their last four Premier League matches against the Blues and have managed just two goals in their last seven league games against them.
With Eden Hazard’s penalty still travelling, the Belgian continues to wear the haunted look of a player bereft of confidence. However, Hazard has enjoyed an impressive record against the Gunners, scoring in the Blues’ last two league clashes with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, with both goals coming in the first half from the penalty spot.
Arsenal have fired in the most shots on target in the Premier League (39), while Chelsea’s leaky defence have allowed their opponents the most in the top flight (38).
Petr Cech returns to Stamford Bridge and will be hoping to move closer to breaking David James’ clean sheets record of 169 in Premier League history. Cech has 165 clean sheets and has not been beaten in his last three league outings.
Arsenal will be hoping that striker Oliver Giroud who has become the poster boy for all Arsenal frustrations, punishes a Mourinho’s defence that have let in 12 goals in 5 league games. Also, the Gunners wil hope that Theo Walcott good form continues, one that has seen him score 11 goals in his last 11 Premier League starts for Arsenal.
Begovic; Ivanovic (c), Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa
Subs: Blackman, Terry, Mikel, Ramires, Loftus-Cheek, Falcao, Remy
Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott
Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chambers, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud