WHEN IS THE MATCH?
Saturday September 19, kick-off at 11:45am (Ghana time)
WHERE IS THE MATCH BEING PLAYED?
WHY IS IT WORTH FOLLOWING?
Chelsea are in disarray. A tetchy Jose Mourinho was recorded making an off-colour remark to Everton manager Roberto Martinez in the wake of his side’s 3-1 defeat on Saturday – all because his counterpart ‘jumped ahead’ of him in the interview queue. Martinez’s response added weight to what many already believe – that Mourinho is only gentlemanly when he’s winning. “When he beat us 6-3 last season he was such a nice man,” said Martinez in the recording. “I prefer him like that.”
Now chuck Arsene Wenger into the mix. The Arsenal manager has a running feud with Mourinho and would enjoy nothing more than inflicting another defeat on Chelsea. Can he do it? Recent history says probably not: the Gunners have failed to beat Chelsea in seven Premier League outings, although they claimed a morale-boosting win in the Charity Shield in the annual season curtain-raiser.
Arsenal will climb into second, albeit probably temporarily with victory, while Chelsea could do without chants of “we are staying up” and must start accumulating points soon…
Forward Willian is out of Chelsea’s Premier League clash. Striker Radamel Falcao, playmaker Oscar (both knee) and Pedro (thigh) could be available, but are doubtful. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is out for around three months following knee surgery, while defender Papy Djilobodji, who is not in the Champions League squad, could be included.
Arsenal report no fresh injury worries from the midweek Champions League trip to Dinamo Zagreb. Goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to return against his former club, having been on the bench in Croatia, while defender Hector Bellerin and midfielder Aaron Ramsey are also back in the squad after being rested. Centre back Per Mertesacker could be in contention again after recovering from illness. Midfielder Jack Wilshere is set for an operation on a hairline fracture in his left fibula next week, while forward Danny Welbeck and Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky (both knee) are alMANAGER QUOTES
Jose Mourinho: “In everything you do in life, you need confidence to be better. In football, when you lose matches, you are affected. You can say you’re not but you are. Normally, when bad things in football happen, the first thing is to find a dramatic story. Somebody punched someone in the dressing-room. The manager doesn’t want to speak with this guy. Diego Costa fought with John Terry and before they start the fight, they brought a translator for them to understand each other because Diego cannot speak English and John cannot speak Spanish. They organise it like the Wild West duels. We are going to fight at this time, bring a translator to help us. Or, Mourinho doesn’t want to give new contracts to Terry and (Branislav) Ivanovic. Mourinho instructs the scouts to find a new right-back urgently.”
Arsene Wenger: “Let’s not forget it is the start of the season and only five games have been played. For us it is a big game and we know our position at the end of the season will depend on how well we do in the big games. I do not think too much about where Chelsea stand in the league at the moment. I focus more on us performing well with full power tomorrow.” MATCH FACTS
Chelsea are unbeaten against Arsenal in their last seven Barclays Premier League encounters (W4 D3).
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.
Arsene Wenger secured his first win over Jose Mourinho in the Community Shield on his 14th attempt in all competitions (D6 L7).
Eden Hazard has scored in the Blues’ last two PL clashes with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, with both goals coming in the first half from the penalty spot.
Jose Mourinho has never lost successive league home games as a manager – he lost his last home league game against Crystal Palace (1-2).
Theo Walcott has scored 11 goals in his last 11 Premier League starts for Arsenal.
The Gunners have won seven and lost none of their last eight Premier League away matches.
Chelsea have kept five clean sheets in their last seven Premier League games against Arsenal, including the last four in a row.
Arsenal have fired in the most shots on target in the Premier League (39), while Chelsea have allowed their opponents the most in the top flight (38).
Only David James (169) has kept more clean sheets than Petr Cech (165) in Premier League history and the Czech has not been beaten in his last three league outings.