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Mourinho must start Chelsea’s new Drogba at the Emirates

| 19.12.2013

For many years Didier Drogba was the bane of Arsenal’s existence, notching 13 goals in 15 starts against the Gunners across seven seasons.

Following his departure for China, many believed that the equilibrium of London’s sexiest derby would be swinging back in a northerly direction.

Yet the Gunners have won just one of their six face-offs with Chelsea since and a major factor in the Blues’ continued dominance goes by the name of Senor Juan Mata.

The former Valencia man has repeatedly punished the Gunners for not matching Los Che’s £20m valuation when they had the chance back in 2011.

Mata has now scored in all five games he has started against the Arsenal – he’s 7/2 to bag at any time and 10/1 to score first/last in the teams’ next clash.

The Emirates side’s only clean sheet in the fixture since his arrival at Stamford Bridge occurred in the one meeting in that timeframe in which he started on the bench.

Having been bafflingly frozen out by Jose Mourinho following two seasons as the goal-scoring, teammate-assisting titan of the west Londoners’ midfield it seems his coach’s cold shoulder may be beginning to thaw.

Mata was included from the off in just five of Chelsea’s first 12 Premier League games under the returning Special One.

However, a return to prominence could well be in the offing with the Spaniard starting the Blues’ last four league matches.

With three of those ending in victory for his side it’s unlikely Mourinho can have seen too much to put him off including Mata from the off against the Gunners.

Chelsea are 21/10 underdogs for the clash in Coral’s match betting, despite claiming victory on their last two visits to the Emirates.

On both occasions they struck twice and backing them to bag twice or more again would pay out at odds of 7/5.

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