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Oct 302014
 

Chelsea are set to welcome Diego Costa and Ramires back into the fold after Jose Mourinho confirmed that both players could be in line for action against London rival QPR this Saturday.

“Without any further complications, Diego Costa and Ramires will be fit to face QPR at the weekend” Mourinho Said.

Both players have been out injured in recent weeks and it will be a huge boost having them back and fit. Diego Costa returned from international duties with Spain aggravating the hamstring injury that has plagued his early Chelsea career. The Spanish striker has nursed the same hamstring problem from his days at Atletico Madrid and has struggled with it since moving to Chelsea.

That has however, not hindered his form as the 26-year-old has been in excellent form for Chelsea. He is currently joint top scorer in the EPL with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero after scoring nine goals in seven league appearances for Chelsea. His form has also seen him win the first PFA player of the month for the season and also Fan’s player of the month in the month of September.

His latest injury has seen him miss four games in all competition for Chelsea including the crucial Manchester United game last weekend. Ramires on his part has not tasted action since limping off in the game against Manchester City on 21st of September with a muscle injury. He has missed 8games for Chelsea and also pulled out Brazil squad for their international friendlies against Argentina and Japan in October.

The return of the pair will be a huge boost to Jose Mourinho’s team especially Diego Costa. The Brazilian born striker has been in scintillating goal scoring form for Chelsea this season.

Loic Remy,the man seen as Diego Costa’s back-up also got injured when his service was needed most leaving Didier Drogba as the only true striker for the club. There were fears over the striker’s ability to lead the line bearing in mind he is 36 already. But the Ivorian showed that he is capable of standing in for Diego Costa. He has scored three goals in three consecutive games for Chelsea despite he himself not being fully fit.

But it is evident that Chelsea have not carried the same attacking threat as when Costa was on the pitch. Costa brings a lot of attacking threat into the team. His speed, skills and ability to run in behind defenders have coursed opposition a lot of troubles and that is what Chelsea have lacked in the few games he has not being around.

Against Manchester United, Chelsea did not really troubled a naïve Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo partnership. Drogba, because of his age doesn’t possess that speed and power to run behind the defenders and he couldn’t be picked with a pass from midfielders like Oscar and Fabregas.

Though he will score Chelsea’s only goal from a set pieces but a Diego Costa would have ran that Manchester united’s defence ragged. It will be a straight walk into the starting XI for Diego Costa as he is Mourinho’s first-choice striker.

Ramires will also be important to the team but it won’t be a walk in the park for him into the first team as the partnership between Cesc Fabregas and Matic in his central midfield position has been a marvel to watch.

His coming back will however give the team a good option on the bench especially going into the hectic period of the season. Jose Mourinho would hope all his players remain fit even as they mount assault on the league title.

 Posted by at 6:35 pm
Oct 302014
 

Chelsea return to action in the Premier League after an uninspiring 2-1 win over League 2 side Shrewsbury Town at the New Meadow Stadium. Chelsea will face Queens Park Rangers 15:00GMT on Saturday in what will be its first league match at home after the October international break. Chelsea has played two consecutive away league matches against Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Chelsea will look to extend their lead at the top of the league table after a last gasp strike from Van Persie saw them leave Old Trafford with a single point. Mourinho will be expected to field a relatively strong side for this London derby hence, we look at Five Likely Changes the manager could make to the side that played a part in the 2-1 over Shrewsbury town.

Courtois for Cech

The Czech no.1 was chosen to man the sticks in yet another cup game after making his initial starts in the Capital One Cup win over Bolton and the Champions League game against Maribor. Meanwhile, Courtois have started all Premier League games this season and is expected to be given the nod again by Jose Mourinho especially coming at the back of his impressive performance against Manchester United on Sunday.

The Belgian has become Jose Mourinho’s preferred choice between the stick ever since his loan return from Atletico Madrid leaving Petr Cech to play as second fiddle. Courtois will likely make a return to the starting line-up for this game.

Terry for Zouma

The soon to be 34-year-old was on the bench for the entire duration of the Shrewsbury game leaving Kurt Zouma to partner Gary Cahill at the heart of Chelsea defence.

Terry has been phenomenal this season despite his age and many have hailed his partnership with fellow English man Gary Cahill as the best in the Premier League. As captain, he should be leading his side out of the Stamford Bridge dugout after sitting out the previous match.

Ivanovic for Christensen

Andreas Christensen made his full senior debut for Chelsea playing as right back in the absence of Branislav Ivanovic.

The Serbian was serving a one match suspension after been sent out with a second yellow for a weak tackle on Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria in the game at Old Trafford. The Serbian after serving his one match suspension will look to return back to action at right back especially with the absence of Ceasar Azpilicueta who will be serving the last of his three matches.

Cesc Fabregas for Nathan Ake

Jose Mourinho really proved he is willing to use the youngsters after partnering Ake with Mikel in the central midfield area. Ake has come good in the few matches he has played but his performance would only be able to fetch him at most a place in the bench as Fabregas is due to return to the line-up after being left out in the previous game.

The Spaniard performance this season has been incredible and he has developed a near perfect understanding with Nemanja Matic in central midfield. Mourinho will need his commanding influence in midfield facing QPR come Saturday.

Costa for Drogba

This match could witness the much anticipated come-back for Diego Costa. The striker has been out due to injury since his return from international duties in early October.

Didier Drogba has ably stood in for Costa scoring three goals in three games. Mourinho will prefer going with Costa who has been in fine scoring form that has seen him net nine times in seven appearances for the club.

Drogba will likely drop to the bench and may come on at one point or the other in the game. Costa, who has had hamstring trouble since his early days at the club has been declared fit to play so, should be in contention for the striker spot.

 Posted by at 6:31 pm
Oct 282014
 

After a pulsating 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Jose Mourinho and his player will have no time to ponder on the 92nd minute capitulation that saw Robin Van Persie salvage an unmerited one point for Manchester United as the team travel to New Meadows to face league 2 side Shrewsbury Town in the fifth round of the Capital one cup tonight.

As expected, Jose Mourinho will ring some changes to the team bearing in mind the level of opponent and the fact that the club have barely had a day of rest after the Old Trafford trip.

Quite a number of the players that played at Old Trafford will need to sit out this game to allow them time to recover. With some players suspended and the fear of picking up further injuries, Mourinho will look to give some of his fringe players who have played a bit part in the campaign chance to once again prove that they can be useful to the team.

Some academy and U-21 players could also be involved in this game, so we look at the likely changes Jose Mourinho could make to the team to face Shrewsbury.

In Goal:

Thibaut Courtois was magnificent in goal against Manchester United on Sunday pulling off several saves but could be dropped to the bench for Petr Cech who was in goal in the fourth round against Bolton Wanderers.

This is an easy decision for Jose to make as he’s keen to give adequate game time to the two world class keepers. So, Cech returns in goal after having a clean sheet in his last outing against NK Maribor in the Champion’s League a week ago.

In Defence

Branislav Ivanovic and Ceasar Azpilicueta will miss out due to suspensions leaving John Terry and Cahill as the senior regulars in defence. In the fourth round game against Bolton, Mourinho had partnered Cahill and Kurt Zouma and will look to continue with the pair in central defence. John Terry will be expected to miss this game as it will come too early for the 34-year-old after playing all 90minutes against Maribor and Manchester United within the space of five days.

Filipe Luis in the absence of Azpilicueta will get his first three consecutive starts in a Chelsea shirt at left back. Mourinho will however have a serious decision to make on who takes the right full back spot.

U-21 right back Todd Kane could get his chance at senior level tonight while centre back Andre Christensen could also play in the position.

In Midfield:

Mourinho will look to give majority of the regulars in midfield some time off and this could mean a number of starts for new faces. John Obi Mikel will take the place of Nemanja Matic in the DM position, while Fabregas could be rested for Nathan Ake who capped his introduction in the Maribor game with a wonderful assist for Hazard’s second goal.

Willian will start this one alongside Oscar behind the striker but Eden Hazard looks the man to be rested by Jose Mourinho. This will give Mohammed Salah a chance to stake a spot on either of the attacking flanks. Ramires is not fully recovered and there won’t be need rushing him back for this game.

In Attack:

Chelsea is currently having an injury crisis in the attacking department. Diego Costa and Loic Remy have missed the last two games due to injuries. In their absence Didier Drogba has put up a decent performance scoring two goals in the process but there is no denying that he is no longer the deadly finisher we used to know.

Against a youthful Shrewsbury side, Drogba could be given a rest. He played all 90minute against United and by his age it is yet to be seen how good he will be able to recover to play two games under 48hours.

There was suggestion Mourinho could play Andre Schurrle as a false striker against Manchester United but that did not come to be. I think it is in this game that Mourinho will look to explore his option of having Schurrle as his striker again after he tried the German in the same position at Old Trafford last season.

So, expect Andre Schurrle to play as a striker tonight against Srhewsbury while Drogba takes a place in the bench.

Chelsea’s Probable Line-up

  • Cech•Kane, Cahill, Zouma, Luis• Mikel, Ake• Salah, Oscar, Willian• Schurrle

Sub: Courtios, Terry, Christensen, Fabregas, Matic, Drogba.

 Posted by at 1:28 pm
Oct 272014
 

Mourinho in recent past has shown his ruthlessness in replacing ageing players in the team. Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were the latest player to feel the brunt other side of the special one.

While most managers tactically ease out their ageing players from their squad, same cannot be said of Jose Mourinho who do not mince word in telling the players that their time is past in the club.

Petr Cech who was fantastic for Chelsea last season while also winning the PFA keeper of the year has been abruptly dropped to the bench while young Belgian Thibaut Courtios has taken his place in-between the sticks. And one could only fear what would become of club captain John Terry if by any chance he suffers a dip in form this season.

Terry has remained one of the Premier league best central defender this season using his experience and his ability to read games to churn out impressive performance for the club this season. His partnership with Cahill have been hailed by many as the best in the Premier league, but the question that have remained on most people’s mind is how long can Terry continue to perform at the high level required of him by Jose Mourinho.

Terry’s position is secured for now but that might soon change with Mourinho keen on rebuilding the squad. It is reasonable to think that very soon his competiveness for club will begin to drop which might see the younger players take over from him.

Chelsea already has some talented Central defenders in their ranks. Kurt Zouma has played a bit part of the season so far and looks like coming through very fast. Thomas Kalas (on loan at Fc Koln), who partnered Ivanovic in the game against Liverpool at Anfield is also a good prospect to replace Terry in the team. Andre Christensen and Nigerian Kenneth Omeruo who is on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough are all contenders to take up Terry’s spot whenever Mourinho decides to drop his trusted and reliable captain.

Chelsea have also been linked to Antonio Rudiger of VFB Stuttgart. The young German is said to be wanted away at the club after their unimpressive start to the season. Chelsea is keeping tabs on the 21-year-old former Borussia Dortmund youth player and could make a move for him.

Already capped by the German national team, Rudiger is seen as one of the hottest prospect in European football and consequently considered by Jose Mourinho as the perfect like for like long term replacement for John Terry when he calls it quit on his club career.

Terry is no longer getting younger, though he could still be performing at a high level and people will call to question the need to be in a hurry to replace him. But Mourinho is not the type of manager that waits for his players to begin to make series of costly mistakes as a result of age before he replaces them.

By next year Terry will be 35, and it is yet to be seen if Mourinho will allow him to continue to lead the line from behind. But whatever situation pans out, Chelsea will have a ready cover in the likes of Zouma, Omeruo, Kalas, Christensen or Rudiger (if he make the move to London) to take over from where the club’s most successful captain left off.

 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Oct 242014
 

Chelsea’s super striker has had his fine early season scoring form hampered by a series of hamstring injuries. The striker has struggle with his hamstring since making his £32m move to Chelsea from La Liga champion Atletico Madrid.

The player is currently sidelined for three weeks after returning from international duty with Spain nursing the same injury. He already missed the game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and the Maribor game at Stamford Bridge but there are speculations he could be rushed back from injury to face Manchester United on Sunday after Loic Remy(his back-up) also pulled out of the Maribor game with a groin injury.

The decision to rush Diego Costa back could be one that will be too costly for the club to make. It is time Diego Costa be given the adequate time he requires to rest his muscles. Hamstring injuries are basically a result of tightening of muscles around the thigh and the best known natural cure is to give the muscle enough time to relax. Rushing the player back is to put more load on an already “tired muscle”.

Diego Costa has not been given the necessary rest his muscles requires to heal properly right from his days at Atletico Madrid.   Costa sustained this hamstring injury during his days at Atletico Madrid in the run-in to the La Liga title and the Champions league final. Costa was rushed back from the injury by manager Diego Simeone for the Atletico vs Barcelona game and the Champions league final against city rival Real Madrid.

He was however, substituted on both occasions with the injury growing worse. His participation with the Spanish national team at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil meant that he did not have enough time to recover from the injury before making his £32m move to Chelsea.

Coming to Chelsea, Costa has kick off in a flying start scoring goals after goals thus making it difficult for the manager to rest him in games. He has played virtually in all of Chelsea’s games before the international break.

Mourinho at one point has expressed fear that Costa cannot train with the rest of the squad after every match just to relax his muscle. His inability to train after games means he can’t play matches in quick succession. It is therefore, high time Chelsea gave Costa the rest he requires to get his muscles relaxed and properly healed.

It will be a hard decision to take but one that will be in the best interest of both the player and the club. If given the necessary time off, Costa will come back fit and better for the club while the reverse could be the case if rushed back from injury as has been done in past months.

Chelsea have really looked impressive and scoring goals in the two matches they’ve played in his absence. The players that have come in have put in their best and the team have shown that goals can come from any department of the team.

Aside the United game, Chelsea’s next three fixtures against ShrewBury Town(A), QPR(H) and Maribor(A) are ones the club can win without him. Chelsea and Costa will be safe if Jose Mourinho does not rush the 26-year-old back to action against Manchester United.

Costa can take enough time to rest his troubling muscles and make his return to action against Liverpool on November 8 as rest is simply what the striker needs to get back to his devastating best.

 Posted by at 2:46 pm
Oct 202014
 

Former Chelsea first choice keeper Petr Cech has continued to receive offers from top European clubs ever since he was deposed of his position as no.1 Chelsea save hands. Cech has been Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper since he arrived at the London club in 2014 from French side Renne but has seen his position come under threat by Thibaut Courtois who returned from Atletico Madrid where he has been on loan for the past three seasons.

Courtois returned to Chelsea at the commencement of the new season and has quickly established himself as Jose Mourinho preferred man in-between the sticks. This has left Petr Cech who won the best Keeper award in the EPL last season to play a back-up role.

With Cech not comfortable with his recent role at the club, there are rumours the player could be set to leave Stamford Bridge as early as January with a lot of top European club already queuing for his signature.

Real Madrid and Roma have been heavily linked to the keeper but his agent Viktor Kolar has come out to state that top English clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool are also among the host of clubs who have made enquiry concerning the player.

Kolar said:

“There are many options, not just one there are many teams interested in Petr. Roma, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United we can talk with many clubs that have shown an interest in Cech”

He also spoke of Cech’s preference if a move is ever going to take place.

“He [Cech] wants to be at a club that regularly plays in the Champions League and this is his highest aspiration,” Said Kolar. “He wants to return to being a protagonist in a great squad at a great club.”

Cech’s situation is such most managers wouldn’t want to have. Cech is still one of the best keepers around and keeping him on the bench game after game will not do his career any good. At 32, he still has a lot of football years left in him as most goalkeepers play well into their forties. Letting him go wouldn’t be the best for the club either. But a decision has to be made.

Cech has promised to address his future himself if his situation does not change and one of the possible outcomes could be to move away from the club. For the club, Cech will better off if he moves abroad to clubs like Real Madrid or Roma as it wouldn’t be wise letting one of your best player join a league rival. Manchester United and Liverpool are simply considered as strong title rivals and allowing Cech join any of them would mean to strengthen a rival.

Manchester United already has David De Gea who is already doing fine in the EPL this season. Allowing Cech to join them will mean gifting Manchester United two world class keepers. United however will be a tough choice for Cech as he won’t want to play back-up to De Gea and going by his antecedents, United are not in the Champions league so won’t have much consideration for them.

At Liverpool, he will pick a regular shirt as he is way better than current Liverpool keeper Mignolet, but Liverpool has not been consistent in the Champions League. They are participating in their first Champions League in five years. That makes them easy for Cech to overlook.

Real Madrid would be the best option. Iker Casillas is wanted away at the Bernabéu and Cech could be the man to take his position. The prospect of playing in the Champions league season in season out could also be a big attraction to the Los Blancos. A move abroad would be the best for the club and the player if a move must happen. Chelsea cannot afford to strengthen title rival Manchester United and Liverpool.

 Posted by at 9:52 am
Oct 162014
 

Picture by  EG Focus 

With only seven matches of the season played, Chelsea is already five points clear at the top of the table, have scored 21 goals and conceded just seven.

It is being suggested that this season’s title race will be a procession and that the Blues can even go through the campaign unbeaten as they end their five-year wait for a Premier League crown.

But how has this transformation come about and why will Chelsea win a fourth title in 11 years?

  1. Jose Mourinho

Love him or hate him, the former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto coach gets results. The Portuguese tactician’s summer transfer dealings were superb and his eye for detail remains as keen as ever. Stamford Bridge is Mourinho’s spiritual home and all his transfer dealings and controversies can be followed on bluesq.com, as well as all the on-field action that the ‘Special One’ has his say in.

  1. Diego Costa

There were concerns about the former Atletico Madrid’s fitness but the 26-year-old has responded with goals – nine of them in seven appearances including a hat-trick against Swansea City and a brace in the 6-3 win at Everton. Fernando Torres’ exploits in a Chelsea shirt now seem like a distant memory.  

  1. Cesc Fabregas

Arsene Wenger may say he passed up the opportunity to lure Fabregas back to the Gunners in the summer and, if that is the case, that was a serious error of judgment by the Frenchman. Fabregas has set up more goals on his own so far this season than nine Premier League teams have managed. The Spaniard has in a word been superb.

  1. Brilliant goalkeepers

When Thibaut Courtois had to be replaced in the 2-0 victory against Arsenal it wasn’t a callow youth that came on to replace him, but Petr Cech, still only 32 and one of the world’s best goalkeepers. No other Premier League side can lay claim to two such fine shot-stoppers.

  1. Midfield dynamos

Eden Hazard, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, Nemanja Matic, Andre Schurrle, and Fabregas – Mourinho has a wealth of midfield options at his disposal.

The decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United, derided at the time but now seen as a master-stroke, has opened up all sorts of possibilities for the Blues who can call on flair, solidity and reliability in a midfield of supreme talent.

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Oct 152014
 

Jose Mourinho has continued with his search for young talents who will take over from his ageing players and lead the team in the nearest feature. The search for successor to club long standing captain and legend John Terry has seen a lot of young, talented defenders across Europe been linked to Chelsea.

This time, it is young German international and VFB Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger that is been linked to the blues. Reports have it that Chelsea is keeping tabs on the 21-year-old former Borussia Dortmund youth player.

Chelsea has been linked to a host of young centre backs in the world, top on the list being Real Madrid and French international Raphael Varane. But with the hefty price tag place on him by the Benerbue outfit it seems Chelsea have shifted their attention to the young German.

Already capped by the German national team, Rudiger is seen as one of the hottest prospect in European football and consequently considered by Jose Mourinho as the perfect like for like long term replacement for John Terry when he calls it quit on his club career.

Valued at around £7m, Chelsea won’t need to break the bank to sign him and the opportunity to play in one of the best young squad that Mourinho is assembling could be an attraction for the player.

Chelsea though still have a number of young central defenders at the club already in the likes of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen but Rudiger is seen as an upgrade to the two. His height of 1.90m or 6ft 3″ bodes well for him as a centre back. He is quick to the ball and good aerially. Can tackle well with both feet and could be an area threat at set pieces.

He has represented Germany at the U-18, U-19, U-20, U-21 levels and has been capped three times by Joachim Low senior side. He has also made appearance in all of VFB Stuttgart’s league game this season though the German side is currently lying third from bottom on the log in Bundesliga.

It’s still unclear when a bid will be made for the 21-year-old but could be anytime soon as the player as expected will be in the radar of many other top team especially with his recent performances which has earned him a national cup up this year.

Chelsea’s defence has remained formidable with the partnership of John Terry and Gary Cahill which was one of the best in the Premier league last season. At 34, it’s not known how long John Terry will continue to perform at optimum level but Chelsea are already making preparations for the player’s retirement and quite a number of young players will be brought in to be an understudy with the hope of taking over from the veteran when he calls it quits on his Chelsea career.

Jose Mourinho is a manager that pays a great attention to his team’s defensive abilities as his first Chelsea squad during his first stint at the club have been hailed by many as one of the most difficult team to beat. The team conceded just 17times in the league in 2004/05 season with much credit to the defensive partnership of John Terry and William Carvalho. He will look to assemble such squad that will be capable of stifling opposition attack again.

Written by Kc Emmanuels

 Posted by at 12:30 pm
Oct 072014
 

Before Sunday’s Premier League match day seven London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal, two teams remain unbeaten in the current league season. Chelsea and Arsenal were the two teams but it was evident that after 90minutes of football action at the Bridge only one of the team will still retain that ‘unbeaten’ title.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea got it after beating Arsenal 2-0 courtesy of Eden Hazard’s first half penalty and a Diego Costa’s late strike hence retaining the ‘unbeaten team’ title and extending its lead at the top of the table to five points.

This isn’t saying Arsenal didn’t put up a fight because the gunners really did. Dominating possession early on, putting up a fight and proving too strong for Chelsea to break down unlike in their 6-0 loss back in March. In fact at 1-0 the game was still open and the Gunners really wanted to take something out of the game until Diego Costa lobbed the ball over an on-rushing Wojciech Szczesny.

After the game, the question on most football follower’s lip is whether this Chelsea team is good enough to go unbeaten this season with many already comparing Jose Mourinho’s squad to the Arsenal’s 2003/2004 Invincible that went unbeaten in the league the entire season.

One of those who believe the recent Chelsea team is not far from that of Arsenal invincible is former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp. The 41-year-old football pundit believes that this Chelsea team is beginning to look like the Vieira led Arsenal Invincible squad.

“Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are up for a fight and have quality all over the pitch … they’re starting to resemble Arsenal’s Invincibles.” Said Redknapp

“The best side I ever faced were Arsenals Invincibles. They had quality all over the pitch, they were powerful and they hardly had any weaknesses. Now Chelsea are starting to look just as strong. I dont know if Jose Mourinhos team can go unbeaten, but when you look through the squad they have so many options in every position. If you want a war with them, they are up for the fight. If they want to open up the game, theyve got the pace and skill of Eden Hazard and his midfield mates. And if they want to sit and play on the counter, theyve got the speed and power of Diego Costa.” – Jamie Redknapp

The Chelsea team is looking like a great team already but there is no need comparing them with the Arsenal’s invincible. Chelsea have brought in some great players like Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis and the manager is setting them up to play like a characteristic Jose Mourinho team.

While the Arsenal 2003/2004 Invincible squad had great players like Jens Lehmann, Lauren, Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Fredrik Ljungberg, Gilberto Silva,Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry as their starting eleven, this Chelsea team is a mixture of experience and youth with great talents.

There is no need debating if the team will go unbeaten as the season is still fresh, competition is stiff and there are many more matches to play but there is no doubt Jose Mourinho is setting his side to be an unbeatable machine and if Chelsea does go unbeaten this season, Cesc Fabregas will become the first player to feature for two Invincible teams in English top flight football.

 Posted by at 12:30 pm
Oct 042014
 

Arsenal will be facing another test of might when they go against Chelsea on Sunday. The last time both teams met, Jose Mourinho’s side exuded class when they put 6 goals past the mediocre Gunners. Ahead of the crunchy tie, the Gunners will be without defenders: Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal, midfielders: Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Serge Gnabry with attackers: Oliver Giroud and Theo Walcott also out due to injury worries, but, Arsene Wenger will be looking to capitalize on their mid-week victory over Turkish outfit, Galatasaray.

Chelsea on the other hand will aim to continue with their excellent start in the much anticipated London derby. The Blues already have a three point advantage at the top of the Premier League table and with the quality of players they have at their disposal, they may be set to push on and claim their first title since 2010. Wenger is yet to record a single win over Mourinho and will be hoping to turn the table against the mercurial Portuguese, and with his summer arrival Danny Welbeck blazing on all guns, the Frenchman might just be ready to try new things.

Arsenal’s Vice-Captain Per Mertesacker is also confident that with the boost that the team has received from their Champions League victory, they will be too much to handle for the Premier league leaders but if the Gunners envisage a win come Sunday and then there are 3 very important things they need to consider:

Physical Presence: Jose Mourinho is widely known for his strength based tactics. The former Real Madrid manager had invented the ‘Parking the bus ‘ slogan which has now gone viral for any team that chooses to play a premeditated defensive style. His plan will most likely be to deploy Nemanja Matic and Even Mikel Obi to muscle down the Gunner’s midfield and then play erstwhile Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas in a more advanced role. So with Aaron Ramsey already ruled out, Arsenal’s best bet will be to introduce Abou Diaby into the fray to inject some physical presence. In 21st century football, matches are won from the midfield, so once Wenger attempts to match the Blues physical abilities, Jose might likely change to long range passes which will allow the Gunners more space.

Cautiousness: The last time both teams met, Wenger had hoped to get ahead of Chelsea in the earlier stages and then drop down defensively with just occasional counter attacks. The plan which unfortunately didn’t come to fruition resulted in a sickening loss. This time, the Gunners should take their time and attempt to settle into the game. This tactic although risky might throw Chelsea of their game and seek to press further.  Arsenal can then advance with their tiki-taka style.

Finally, Arsenal must be wary of Mourinho’s tactics. The Portuguese might likely deploy rough tackling players like Matic with detailed instructions to bring out certain players. The moment Arsenal players attempt to retaliate, they lose focus and with anger venting in their veins, they might not be able to follow their plans closely enough to avoid a defeat on Sunday.

Admin note – This article was sent to us by Kolade Omotosho an Arsenal fan “friend” of ours.

 Posted by at 6:44 pm