When Arsenal usually face off against London rivals Chelsea, apart from the rare occasion, things unfortunately don’t seem to go down too well for the Gunners. In fact aside from Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield in 2015, the Gunners have gone nine Premier League games without a win.
In fact that last time Arsenal picked up more than three points was in 2011, when Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3 at the Bridge and even then the performance wasn’t an entirely comfortable sitting. If you thought that nine games without a win was bad, how about the fact that Arsenal haven’t actually scored a goal against Chelsea in the last six Premier League games! Not a single goal has been scored against the Blues since Walcott’s solidarity effort in a 2-1 defeat back in 2013. But perhaps the harshest statistic of all is the fact that again, despite the Community Shield, Arsene Wenger has never beaten Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, in 14 Premier League attempts. Of course that last stat is the only difference for Arsenal this season, as the Gunners face a new Chelsea side without Mourinho at the helm, so could things be different this time around?
Now despite the previous paragraph featuring more than its fair share of negativity, it has to be said that they are of course facts. Arsenal can’t run away from that and even though every game is different and can have a different outcome, realistically matches from the past do come to mind. But without Mourinho at the helm, I think things may be different for Arsene Wenger’s men.
There’s no doubts that at times Chelsea had been the better of the two sides over 90 minutes, however there have also been occasions, such as last season in which Arsenal rather unfairly crumbled under the red cards for Gabriel and Cazorla.
This time around, Arsenal do not have to deal with Mourinho’s antics. This Chelsea side have different tactics and this game is no longer a match of Wenger vs Mourinho, but Arsenal vs Chelsea. It is a fixture in which the plate is swept clean and Mourinho is no longer at the forefront of the game. Tomorrows match will still undoubtably been tough for the Gunners, because Chelsea have had a strong start under Conte. It also comes as no surprise that despite having a reduced role so far this season, Fabregas now seems to be up for a fight right as the fixture against Arsenal creeps up.
Arsenal are in form with three wins on the trot, although this is arguably the Gunners’ toughest fixture (on paper) of the campaign so far.
Arsenal are at home and will have the backing of the home fans to hopefully see us through it. Chelsea have a few key players missing for the match, especially in defence and Arsenal must capitalise on this. The odds may be against us due to previous results in this London Derby, but I have faith that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are ready to wipe the slate clean now that Mourinho is no longer at the Chelsea helm. We just have Arsenal vs Manchester United to look forward to for the rivalry instead!