Wenger will have to wait longer for win over old foe Mourinho
Arsene Wenger celebrated his 18-year anniversary as Arsenal manager in better style than his 1000th match in charge at the Gunners’ helm. His side thrashed Galatasaray 4-1 in midweek, while last term suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Chelsea on what was supposed to be a special day.
Arsenal now return to that slaughter ground, which was also heavily publicised for referee Andre Marriner’s red card error for mistaking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Kieran Gibbs. A six-goal scoreline for the Blues once more seems rather unlikely this time around, but the Gunners have not beaten them in their last six meetings in all competitions, and know that they face a team in top form.
League leaders Chelsea, therefore, are 4/6 odds-on favourites for victory again, with 13/5 the price for a draw. The Blues have started the season in dominating style, winning five of their six matches and drawing the other away at title holders Manchester City.
Wenger’s Gunners go into this game as 9/2 chances for victory, as the Frenchman tries for his first win over Jose Mourinho at the 12th attempt.
Arsenal will need Mesut Ozil to continue his good form if the north Londoners are to have any chance of success. The much-maligned German’s form declined dramatically last term, but has seemingly picked himself up recently. Ozil is 5/1 to score anytime.
His compatriot Andre Schurrle, who will be wearing blue on Sunday October 5th, has spoken positively of his fellow World Cup winner, saying: “Mesut is a player who needs the pressure a little bit. He needs the pressure to perform.
“He is a great player. He is everything that you need in his position when he plays number 10. He can play the pass and he can score.
“So I think when you give him a little bit of time he will show you that he is a world class player. Of course, for the national team it is good to have Mesut Ozil in good form. On Sunday, however, it would be good if he didn’t have that good form against us.”
Schurrle himself netted in that famous 6-0 thrashing last term at Stamford Bridge, and the attacker is 7/4 to score again anytime.
Diego Costa will be the main man once more, though, and will looking to add to his eight goals from six Premier League appearances – despite being reportedly not fully fit again. The Spain striker is 3/1 to net first, and the same price to bag a brace or better.
At the opposite end of the pitch for the away side, the Gunners will be hoping new forward Danny Welbeck can bring his confidence into this game. The former Manchester United player has excelled since his switch down south to Arsenal, and hit a hat-trick last time out against Galatasaray. He is 11/4 to score anytime, and 50/1 to get his second senior treble.
In terms of injuries, Chelsea are without Didier Drogba and Ramires again, while Wenger will not be able to call upon Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud.