As Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates this weekend they will have the opportunity to move closer to a club record in the Premier League, though it is unlikely to be one that they will want to break. The Gunners are now on a nine match streak without a win in the Premier League, with the last victory against the Blues coming in a 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge in October 2011. That is only three games away from the club record of twelves games without a win against Liverpool between 1994 and 2000.
That day, a Robin Van Persie hat-trick, with two goals in the last five minutes sealing victory, were a massive boost to a side featuring players like Gervinho and Andre Santos, but since then, luck has deserted the Gunners. Now, with only four of that starting eleven still at the club, Arsenal will be looking to secure their first home win over Chelsea in seven attempts, with their victory over the Blues in December 2010 the last time Chelsea came away from the Emirates empty handed, having only ever lost twice at the ground since the move from Highbury.
Part of the reason for this woeful run is likely to be another damning stat which shows that Wenger’s men have failed to score in their last six Premier League games against Chelsea, their joint longest record, alongside a six game run within that previously mentioned run of poor form against Liverpool.
They haven’t been helped by their poor discipline either. With four players sent off in the last five clashes between the two sides, it is no such surprise that the Gooners have failed to win when faced up against the Blues when they so rarely finish with ten men. Many of these ties have been heated affairs, particularly when Wenger has come up against Jose Mourinho on the opposite touchline, with the two clearly not getting on, as Mourinho’s recent comments about “breaking his face” have shown.
The Gunners have more red cards in the Premier League than any other side they have faced, and they will have to keep things calm and simple this weekend. With something of a defensive injury crisis, there are few options available to the north London outfit should they go down to ten men thanks to a red card to a defender. With the experienced Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech in the back line, there should be enough composure to avoid any such mistakes.
It now seems that Arsenal will be desperate to turn this run around and defy the odds with victory over the Blues. However, the Gunners have failed in their only real tests so far this campaign as they lost to Liverpool on the opening day, and have been lucky to earn a point against Leicester in the Premier League and PSG in the Champions League. Antonio Conte will also be on the lookout for victory, with his side having suffered defeat for the first time in their last Premier League fixture, so this will certainly be no easy tie as Arsene Wenger once again comes up against his bogey team in a London derby.
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