Chelsea can close in on Premier League triumph with Arsenal victory
Dominant Premier League leaders Chelsea will travel to the Emirates to face second placed Arsenal in a mouth-watering top of the table clash, with Jose Mourinho hoping his Blues can quickly wrap up a title triumph.
The Portuguese manager has seen his side open up a superior 10-point lead over Arsene Wenger’s Gunners at the summit of the top flight standings, and are 9/4 with Coral to topple their London rivals on away soil.
Mourinho will have his brilliant Blues in a positive frame of mind, knowing that a win at the Emirates, followed by a victory over relegation threatened Leicester City in their subsequent fixture, would secure the club their first league crown since 2010.
Despite Wenger having led Chelsea’s city counterparts to second place and, also setting up an FA Cup final clash with Aston Villa, boss Mourinho believes his opposite number is not a close rival.
“For me he’s not my rival. I don’t feel that. He’s the manager of a big club in the same city where I work and live,” said Mourinho.
“It’s a big club (Arsenal) with the same objectives. Because of that always comes a bit of rivalry. But for me no different when I was Inter manager or at Real with Atletico manager or Porto with Benfica managers.”
The in-form Gunners are 11/8 to secure a home victory, with Wenger having never beaten a team managed by Mourinho in 12 meetings.
“For me achievement is win tomorrow. Not the other 12 matches we played against Arsenal. I don’t look to numbers. I don’t look at what I did against this manager or that club. It’s not a problem for me,” continued Mourinho.
The hosts may be without German World Cup winning defender Per Mertesacker , with Wenger having already confirmed that Gabriel Paulista will start alongside Laurent Koscielny if the towering centre back is unavailable.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sidelined, but Mikel Arteta has returned to training, while Diego Costa is out with a hamstring injury for the visitors and Loic Remy could return after missing the previous two weeks.
In-form France international frontman Olivier Giroud has struck an impressive 18 goals in all competitions this term and is 7/4 to net anytime and end his side’s run of four consecutive meetings without scoring against Chelsea.
Sublime Spanish playmaker Cesc Fabregas is available at 4/1 to strike anytime on his return to the Emirates, while Mourinho’s magnificent marksman Eden Hazard is a 6/1 chance to open proceedings, having done so in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge.