It’s always one of the tastiest fixtures of the Premier League season, but there is extra spice involved when Arsenal make their way across town to play Chelsea on October 5th.
Being the two most successful clubs from arguably the greatest footballing city on the planet is plenty enough billing for this London rivalry.
But then there are the sub plots which add extra beef to this London-derby stew. Firstly, there is the frostiest of all the inter-managerial relationships in the Premier League between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.
This pair of dug-out dwellers must have got off on the wrong foot during Mourinho’s first stint in English football.
Maybe it was the pressure of fighting it out for all those titles when the Special One was less grey and Wenger was actually battling for titles?
However, the gloves came well and truly hurtling off last season when the Portuguese labelled the Frenchman a ‘specialist in failure’ as the run-in hotted up.
Wenger, of course, has still never defeated a Mourinho-managed team and then had to suffer the ignominy of a 6-0 mauling at Stamford Bridge during his 1000th Arsenal game no less.
Then, even if these two warriors manage a pre-match handshake, all spare eyes will be on the Arsenal legend lining up for Chelsea.
Cesc Fabregas has (had?) a place deep in the hearts of Gooners for eight years of loyal service and swashbuckling midfield play spanning two stadia.
However, how those same Gooners will react to their cult hero turning out for such a fierce rival, is an intriguing thought.
Before a ball of the new season is kicked in anger, Chelsea are joint 15/8 favourites and Arsenal are 13/2 shots to win the title with Ladbrokes.
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