Arsenal have an opportunity to prove their title credentials and would love to do it against none other than their struggling rivals Chelsea FC. Wenger was once again humiliated by Jose Mourinho in the reverse fixture and will have his men primed and ready to avenge that loss.

Chelsea face the strongest challenge to their undefeated run in the form of the firing Gunners, who will look to kick them when they are down as the Blues try to piece back the remains of their miserable title defending season. A win for Arsenal would take them to the top of the league and be a strong statement of intent by Arsene Wenger’s men. For the Blues, a win in very game is a necessity now if they want to make up for the disastrous start they’ve had to this campaign.

Wenger will not miss Mourinho

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho left the Premier League in an unceremonious manner, but there is one record that wasn’t tarnished despite the terrible run his team had this season. Mourinho has still not been defeated by Arsene Wenger in any of their clashes, a fact that is sure to irk the otherwise composed Frenchman.

However, Guus Hiddink has a record of his own which is equally frustrating for Wenger. He managed the Blues side to a 4-1 victory over Arsenal in their own backyard back in 2009, which is the club’s heaviest ever defeat at home since they moved to the Emirates Stadium. Although this bout may not have the personal animosity that always arises when Wenger faces up against Mourinho, it would be one that is fiery nonetheless.

Key Clashes

Diego Costa v/s Laurent Koscielny

The Spaniard was the source of all sorts of controversy the last time these two sides faced each other, playing a starring role in the sending off of Gunners’ defender Gabriel which should have won him an Oscar. But before that, he had a tiff with Laurent Koscielny which sparked the whole situation.

The two come face to face again and Koscielny will do well to remain calm amidst the unsettling tactics that the Spaniard sometimes uses to put pressure on the defence. Costa seems to be getting back some of his old form now, having scored 5 goals in 5 matches, as opposed to 2 in the rest of the season. This will be a key battle in and around the Arsenal penalty area.

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Olivier Giroud v/s John Terry

Despite all the criticism and demands for a new striker, Giroud has hit his stride this season and proved that Arsenal can depend on him to poach goals for the team. He is the club’s top scorer at the moment. with 12 goals, and would love to add to his tally in this high profile fixture. If Ozil and Sanchez are the symphonies of this Arsenal side, then Giroud is the final note.

He will come up against a seasoned veteran though, in the form of 34-year-old Englishman John Terry who seemes reinvigorated in his defensive efforts for the club. Terry will have a tough job on his hands trying to prevent the dashing Frenchman from finishing off Arsenal’s attacking play. This could prove to be one of the most crucial battles of all on the pitch as Chelsea will look to stifle the Gunner’s’ attack which, when it starts going, could take the game away from them.

Petr Cech v/s Thibaut Courtois

This may not be quite the physical clash as the rest of the ones on the pitch, but Cech was ousted from the Blues after the arrival of Belgian sensation Courtois and this could be a big opportunity for him to remind his former club of what they’ve let slip out of their hands. The Czech international was imperious in Arsenal’s last outing against Stoke City and will look to repeat that performance against his former teammates.

Courtois meanwhile is reportedly unsettled at Stamford Bridge these days, but after coming back from injury has made the number one spot his own once again. He will play a key role if Chelsea are to deny the Gunners from scoring at will and will very likely be involved in some crucial saves. The former teammates face each other for their first league encounter since Cech’s departure and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

It is after you have accumulated the first 15 points that the game starts getting complicated

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