Yes, they beat Chelsea in the Community Shield but that does not mask the fact that Arsene Wenger has a really poor record against Mourinho, whom he has never beaten in a competitive match. I don’t see that changing on Saturday.
whereas they could have written of Chelsea
Yes, they have got the better of Arsenal in the league but that does not mask the fact that Arsene Wenger beat Mourinho at Wembley at the start of the season, and Chelsea are just one place above relegation while Arsenal are, as usual, in the top four.
The team changes
For Chelsea, Willian is out, Falcao and Oscar are doubtful, Pedro has a thigh complaint, and Hazard has been called up into the rugby world cup.
For Arsenal, we will presumably see the return of the regular league starters, after using the squad players in the Champions League. I suspect Per Mertesacker will go to the bench, although there might be a tactical reason to play him ahead of Gabriel.
On Petr Cech’s return to Chelsea Mr Wenger said, “It is always difficult to go back to your club and play but fortunately he has handled that this season. That is why I decided to play him in the Community Shield. It is the first step that is important and he has dealt very well with it.”
So overall we are going to have quite a different team from last year when we played Chelsea which was…
Chambers Mertesacker Koscielny ** Gibbs
Flamini Özil ** Wilshere (Rosicky – 83′ )
Cazorla ** (Oxlade-Chamberlain – 69′ ) Welbeck Sánchez** (Podolski – 79′ )
** – I make that just four players from a year ago who will again start away to Chelsea. And yet the aaa go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about not bringing in new players. A turn around of players for a directly comparable match 11 months ago, with only 36% who started last time, turning out this time, is a huge turnover.
The next thing you know everyone will be saying that Wenger fails because his side has no stability.
Chelsea famously has no beach, but if it did, you might find some of these people lurking therein, taking in the last sunshine of summer (Summer ends on monday in case you need to know).
Ospina, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Arsenal’s biggest problem is that Chelsea are desperate for a win no matter how they get it, so the tackles will go flying in, and with the referee we have, there will be little protection for Arsenal’s defence.
The stat the press like to run out is that Chelsea have drawn with or beaten Arsenal in seven Premier League meetings. Prior to that they lost 3-5 at home, after being in the lead, in October 2011. But Mourinho has lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since May 2006.
And Chelsea has already lost as many games this season as they lost all of last season. This is their worst start to a Premier or First Division season since 1986, when they had three points after five games. In that season they ended up 14th. The following season (1987/88) they were relegated, which was such a shame.
They have also conceded as many goals in five games as they conceded in 15 last year.
So what of us? I hear you cry.
We’ve won seven and drawn one of the last eight away league games, put in more shots on target than anyone else (Chelsea interestingly have the most shots on target against them of any team in the league), and Cech is getting close to the Premier League record of clean sheets (four more games to go).
And we have just gone three league games without letting in a goal. Chelsea on the other hand have conceded at least two goals in each of their last five matches in the Premier League.
Of course everyone knows we don’t have a centre forward, which is why it is a little odd to record that Theo has scored 11 goals in the last 11 Premier League games he started. Now for most Premier League centre forwards that is quite something, headline news in fact, and if it were a Chelsea player who had that record it would be front and back page news in every newspaper, and the lead on every TV and radio show about football.
But because it is an Arsenal man….
Here’s another – which player has created more goalscoring chances in 2015 than any other?
- Answer: Mesut Ozil (76).
Now the Injuries Table
- 8: Everton, Newcastle
- 6: Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham
- 5: Liverpool, Man City, Southampton, tottenham
- 4: Bournemouth, Chelsea, Stoke City, Sunderland
- 3: Arsenal, Man U,
- 2: Norwich, Watford, WBA
- 1: Leicester
- 0: Swansea
Chelsea’s list is made up of Willan, Rodriuez, Falcao, Cortois. Falcao could however be fit.
Arsenal’s list is made up of Wilshere, Rosicky, Welbeck, none of whom is fit.
So there we have it, or not as the case may be.
Walter can’t do a match review today, so we are taking our feed from 888 Sport.
- 19 September 1970: Arsenal 6 WBA 2. Arsenal programme publishes letter criticising Evening Standard’s reporting of the club. League match 9 of the first Double season. It was Arsenal’s highest score of the season. Arsenal scored 4 goals in three games, otherwise it was three or fewer goals per game.
- 19 September 1999: Thierry Henry scored his first league goal – away to Southampton. He didn’t score again until 28 November when he got both goals in a 2-1 defeat of Derby.