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Arsenal vs CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Date: Sunday, 29 November

Kick-off 1600 GMT


A win for United yesterday put them just two points behind us so we need a result today to make that gap a little bit more respectable again – and it’s Arsenal at the Emirates.

We go into the game eight points ahead of Arsenal, although they have a game in hand to reassure them the gap between us this season isn’t quite so big.   Ancelotti hasn’t done a bad job with our ‘pensioners’ since he took over and although some might point to the fact that neither did Scolari to start with last season, our wins against both Liverpool and Manchester United so far this campaign suggest the latest Chelsea boss isn’t quite as sloppy as his predecessor. Wenger meanwhile continues to put his faith in a much younger side although is yet to have his faith repaid in the absence of any silverware.



Going into this game, Wenger reiterates his belief in his ‘young guns’, stating “There is a period for any team to come out and show its strength. For my team, this moment has come.  We have the strength and we want to show we’re strong enough to beat them.  We are not anymore a team that has to be considered to be young.  I believe for us the most important thing is to stick to our game, do not focus on any special individual on the other side, because you win these kind of games by dominating the game.  If we focus too much on Chelsea it won’t help us.”

Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t seem to see today’s game in the same way as his opposing manager, saying “This is not a decisive match for Chelsea or for Arsenal.  It’s an important match. Arsenal will want to win the game, and Chelsea also, but it’s not decisive for the title. It would be 11 points if we won, but Arsenal would have a game in hand. It’s not so important for the title. It is a very important game because Arsenal are one of the most important teams in England and Europe. They’re playing very well. I like their style – they try to play and attack to create difficulties for the other teams. It will be a very good test for us.”



Arsenal will be without Gibbs (metatarsal), Bendtner (groin), Djourou (knee), Van Persie (ankle) and Wilshere (ankle), with Clichy (back), Diaby (calf) and Fabianski (thigh) said to be doubtful. William Gallas is likely to return after an eye injury in the Champions League.

For us, Jose Bosingwa (knee) remains out although Frank Lampard is fit again.



ARSENAL: (from): Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore, Song, Denilson, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, Mannone, Eduardo, Eboue, Vela, Senderos, Wilshere, Silvestre, Ramsey, Rosicky.

CHELSEA: (from): Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, Ivanovic, A Cole, Zhirkov, Carvalho, Terry, Alex, Essien, Lampard, Belletti, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda, Kakuta, Deco, J Cole, Kalou, Anelka, Drogba



Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea (May 10th 2009)



Arsenal have lost just one of their last 10 London derbies, although they’ve failed to beat any of the ‘Big Four’ in their last 5 attempts.  We, on the other hand, have won our last five London derbies in the league and our last three against ‘Big Four’ sides, so from recent records at least, it looks favourable for us. Having said that, this time last season we sat top of the table, 8 points clear of Manchester United – and it was pretty much downhill between then and Scolari’s departure, so let’s not get too carried away with ourselves. I’m thinking the fact that today sees the strongest attack in the Premier League (Arsenal have scored 36 from 12 games) against the tightest defence (we’ve conceded 8 in 13) points to us coming away with no more than a draw although Van Persie’s absence might just shift the odds back in our favour.



Andre Marriner




Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


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