As I sit here basking in the glow of making a Christmas themed headline using Jose Mourinho’s name, Arsene Wenger is probably contemplating just what he needs to do to get the better of his old adversary.
Le Professeur has gone toe to toe with The Special One on nine occasions and he is still yet to taste victory against Jose. The Chelsea gaffer has the fashion edge off the field, and thus far he has had the tactical edge on it as well.
In total Wenger’s Arsenal record against Mourinho looks like this…
It’s pretty disastrous. But this time when they meet on Monday, it’s a whole lot more important. Not just because there are whispers in the offices and the pubs up and down the country, that Arsenal’s annual collapse is just around the corner.
- The Gunners are winless in their last three games.
- Olivier Giroud has just one goal in his last 13 hours and 45 minutes of football.
- They’ve just lost two massive fixtures on the spin – the Champions League defeat to Napoli which cost them top spot and the 6-3 annihilation at the Etihad Stadium against Man City.
Throw in the fact that dropped points on Monday would leave the door open for Liverpool to top the table on Christmas day instead of Arsenal, and the psychological effect that could have on Arsene Wenger’s team is a concern.
The good news for Arsenal is that Chelsea are finding goals harder to come by than unicorn piss.
- In their last three games Mourinho’s men have had a whopping total of 56 shots on goal, with 70 per cent of them going off target.
- Combined Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have contributed just five goals this season. Gary Hooper cost Norwich just £5 million and he has four goals himself.
- Chelsea have failed to score in 38 per cent of their away games this season
The stats suggest that Chelsea will struggle to score, Arsenal will be wanting to avoid defeat at all costs and Mourinho has the edge over Wenger. So on that basis we’re picking splinters out of our arse, sitting on the fence, and plumping for either a 0-0 draw at 9/1 or the 1-1 draw at 6/1.
On our tipping form that probably means it’ll be another six-goal thriller so it’s a win-win either way.
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