Arsenal may not have won any of our last five away matches in the League, but Unai Emery believes that we do not suffer from the same confidence issues when we play at the Emirates in front of our own fans, and can take the three points of Chelsea and move closer to our local rivals in the table.
When asked on Arsenal.com about what he was expecting from Saturday’s game, Emery replied: “The victory, firstly. Victory first but I think we are doing two different performances, at home and away. We want to find the balance between the two moments. First, we are going to go game-by-game and Saturday we are at home and I think we are doing very big matches with big confidence with our supporters and I want the same spirit and the same performance on Saturday against Chelsea.
“It’s a difficult, tough match and I think it’s a good test for us also. We wanted to go into this match with three points difference in the table, but our defeat at West Ham doesn’t give us this possibility. But Saturday, I am looking forward to playing this match because I want to look at my team, our team, playing with a good performance and also to show our supporters we can do more and we can do better than we are doing away.
“I think Saturday is a big test and our first objective is to be in the top four. It’s more difficult after our defeat against West Ham but we can take positives, like if we win on Saturday. It’s a good test and challenge. A win will take us closer to them. This will take us one step closer to our objective and this is the test. Over 38 matches some are small finals and Saturday for us is a small final.”
We only lost narrowly when we played the Blues at the beginning of the season at the Bridge, and he does have respect for our opponents but is not unduly worried: “A very organised team with very important players.” he admitted. “It will be difficult but I believe in our spirit, our quality, our organisation when we are playing at home with our supporters. I think that each match in the Emirates is very special. It will be a tough match but if we play with a big performance, with organisation, I think we can win. It’s difficult and it’s also a test because we can be who we are. Between the beginning of the season when we played them and now, the 23rd game of the season, we are going to play them again. It’s a good moment and a very good test.”
It’s a very good test, and a very BIG test. There is no doubt about that. But having only lost two home League games in our our last 22 (both against Man city!) there is no reason why we shouldn’t face Chelsea without a good dollop of confidence, is there?