This weekend marks Arsene Wenger’s 20-year anniversary as manager of Arsenal Football Club, having won a staggering six FA Cups and three Premier Leagues while reaching one Champions League final in that time.
After missing out on the title last year to just Leicester City, there’s certainly some pressure growing on the Frenchman’s position, but an overdue win against Chelsea on Saturday evening could change all of that.
It’s now nine games since the Gunners last defeated Chelsea in the Premier League, and an even more worrying statistic for fans is that they haven’t seen their side score against the Blues since January 2013. So will Wenger bite the bullet and go all out on this special occasion?
He certainly has the option to do just that, with several of his attacking players enjoying a solid start to the season. But who will make the starting line-up?
Three Gunners players were sent off against Chelsea in their two league meetings last year, so remaining disciplined throughout the ninety minutes has to be a key objective for Wenger’s men, especially when faced with the fiery Diego Costa.
The Chelsea striker played a part in two of those dismissals last year, and he’s found the net on two previous occasions against the Gunners.
After enjoying a fine start to the season this time out, there could be some value in the 5/1 for him to score first.
Mesut Ozil is yet to find the kind of form that saw him contribute 19 assists and break Frank Lampard’s record for chances created in a Premier League season last year. But his recent dip in form could soon be forgotten should he play to his ability in Saturday’s late kick-off. He’s 13/5 to add to his 16 Arsenal league goals by netting anytime in the game.
A loss for either side could potentially see them eight points behind league leaders Manchester City come close of play this weekend. However, the best case scenario for the Gunners and the Blues is that one of the two sides could end up just two points behind Guardiola’s men, should results go their way.
Given that neither side will want to lose this game, and the fact that Wenger will be desperate to end this dismal goalless run against the west London outfit, the 16/5 for both sides scoring in a draw looks tempting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing