Arsene Wenger’s anniversaries and a clash with Chelsea have always aligned in recent times – 500th game, 1000th game. Although they have not been the best of memories, Wenger would love to turn it around as he celebrates 2o years as the Boss.
The 4-0 victory in the EFL Cup and the 4-1 victory at Hull has brightened Ashburton Grove and the hearts of the fans but it is yet unclear if the Gunners can replicate such away form at the Emirates. The fans would love a victory even if Mourinho will not be on the bench. Emirates needs to be a fortress.
Xhaka was on everyone’s lips at Hull and Nottingham Forest, thanks to his left hammer as Ozil calls it. Will the manager start him today? Coquelin has been excellent and is preferred as a partner to Cazorla in the middle. Will that pairing continue?
Chelsea needed extra 30 minutes to defeater Leicester City in the EFL Cup but may likely recall Fabregas to the starting 11 after his winning brace at the King Power stadium. Prodigal or not, he is a threat. Be warned of his long balls. Terry will be off but who would square up against Luiz? Lucas or Alexis?
How Wenger sets up his team is up to him but they must be disciplined and be careful of Diego Costa. Koscielny is experienced in that. Mustafi has to learn. The Gunners have gotten more red cards than points in recent times from Chelsea. There will be no excuse for a defeat or a draw.
Till 6pm. Ready The Arsenal because Conte’s Blues are marching North.