Since Arsenal moved from Highbury to the ultra-swanky library named The Emirates Stadium, their record at home to Chelsea has fallen apart faster than a manifesto from the Green Party. The Gunners win record of 60 per cent at Highbury since the start of the Premier League has tumbled to just 23 per cent at the Emirates, and Jose Mourinho is heavily fancied to add to that miserable stat on Sunday.
Was the Emirates built on an ancient Indian burial ground? Did the chief brickie bury a Chelsea shirt under the foundations and lay down a curse as he completed the build? Or is it simply coincidence that three years previous to the Emirates opening it’s doors Roman Abramovich had rocked up in south-west London with a shedload of cash? Either way it makes for a pretty infographic, and in this cruel world we all need something nice to look at.
[Handy hint: Click or tap on the image to enlarge it]
Since the move to the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal have won just two of nine games at home to Chelsea. Firstly a 1-0 win courtesy of William Gallas in December 2007, and then a 3-1 thumping three years later with Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott all on the scoresheet. Chelsea have tasted far more success in those ties with four wins and three draws to their name – a stark contrast to the Pensioner’s three wins from 20 games since 1992 at Highbury.
A large part of their recent joy can be attributed to manager Jose Mourinho. At the risk of over-inflating The Special One’s ego even more, his record against one of the Premier League’s greatest managers is outstanding. Steve McClaren, Gareth Southgate, Chris Coleman and Alan Pardew are just a handful of managers that have beaten Jose Mourinho – something that Arsene Wenger still has never managed to do.
Wenger’s record reads drawn five, lost seven against Jose, and that’s an overwhelming trend going into the game. Forget the fact that no side in the top flight has picked up as many points per game as Arsenal in 2015 (2.54) and ignore the Gunners eight game winning streak. Wenger has gone toe-to-toe with Mourinho’s Chelsea 12 times and never figured out how to beat him.
The evidence is pointing to a Chelsea win, conducted in Mourinho’s usual manner. Expect the Monday backlash and the abuse for parking the bus, but frankly Chelsea fans won’t care. Since Jose returned, their record against Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City reads won nine, drawn five, lost none. Success before entertainment every time. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to make some cash however.
- Chelsea’s average price this season has been 4/7, this weekend they are 7/4 to beat Arsenal so now might be the time to back Mourinho’s men to get the value. The Pensioners would have given you a 2 per cent profit on your investment this season if you backed them every week, but now would be the best time to get on.
- Sticking £5 on Eden Hazard to score first every week would currently see you £117.50 up for the season, and the Chelsea midfielder has opened the scoring in four of their last six games.
- Chelsea have won to nil 14 times this season – and 2-0 is by far their most profitable scoreline, returning £85 in profit if you had stuck £5 on it every week.
Hazard has scored the opener for Chelsea against Man United, Arsenal and Tottenham already this season, and it would be no surprise if a piece of magic from the Belgian broke the deadlock against the Gunners again at odds of 15/2. While 2-0 is Chelsea’s most profitable scoreline, plenty of pundits expect a similar performance to their win over Louis van Gaal’s United, and the 1-0 result is an 8/1 shot, with a 2-0 victory at 14/1.
If you fancy a bit of jam this weekend, it’s 40/1 for Hazard to score the only goal in a 1-0 win for Chelsea yet again. The PFA Player of the Year has been in untouchable form, and ti would be no surprise to see him bag the winner as Chelsea shut up shop, and Mourinho’s hold over Wenger continues.