You don’t need us to tell you in-depth about just how bad Chelsea’s season has been this year. The reigning champs sit four points off the relegation zone, 19 points away form the top of the league, and they’ve picked up just six wins from 22 matches this campaign – the same number as Norwich and newly promoted Bournemouth.
Yet, despite all of this, they can still brag about beating Arsenal this season. It doesn’t seem to matter how utterly turgid Chelsea have been this season, nor does it matter that Arsenal are top of the league and fancied to lift their first Premier League title for more than a decade. It would seem the Chelsea curse haunts Arsene Wenger, like the image of a topless John McCririck haunts our dreams.
It’s been more than four years since Arsenal beat Chelsea in the league – that memorable 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge in October 2011 a brief high point in a decade of misery for the Gunners. Since December 2005, in the last 20 league games between the pair, Arsene Wenger can claim just three victories while Chelsea have racked up 12 wins of their own.
The 6-0 thumping at the Bridge – the match that is often remembered for Andre Marriner’s small case of mistaken identity – is still raw among Arsenal fans two years later.
In fact it is now eight league games on the spin since Arsenal beat Chelsea, and in those eight games they’ve failed to score on six occasions.
But surely this is the game where Wenger breaks the curse. Right? Well, maybe not. Say it quietly, but Guus Hiddink’s men are now unbeaten in six games – a run which saw them take points off Manchester United, Everton and away at Crystal Palace.
The good news for the neutral tuning into Sunday’s clash is that we could be set for a high-scoring thriller. Almost half of Chelsea’s matches this season have featured over 3.5 goals and Hiddink’s men have scored 13 goals in their last six matches. There have been close to an average of three goals per game Chelsea have been involved in this season, while at the back they’ve kept just six clean sheets all year. While last week’s Super Sunday featured just one goal and two goalkeepers picking up the Man of the Match awards, this weekend’s offering is set to be a far more entertaining dish.
Band Aid 20 were number one with their re-recorded version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ the last time Arsenal and Chelsea drew 2-2, but with a high-scoring affair potentially on the cards and the Chelsea curse threatening to strike Wenger again, it’s a punt that has us interested at . Chelsea have already drawn four games 2-2 this season while the Gunners have had to share the spoils in their last two league games – including the 3-3 thriller with Liverpool.
Arsenal are to break the hold Chelsea have had over them in recent years, while it’s for Chelsea to upset the Gunners title charge and move clear of the relegation battle that’s threatening to swallow up the Premier League holders. If you fancy a goal-fest it’s for there to be over 2.5 goals and that both teams find the back of the net.
Alternatively to our correct score fancy, it’s to end in a score draw – a bet that would have clicked in three of the five league games Hiddink has managed at Chelsea this season. Captain, leader, team-mate’s wife humper, John Terry was on target in the 2-2 draw between these sides 12 years ago, and after scoring at both ends against Everton last week, he’s to score at anytime.
But we’re plumping for the 2-2 draw on Sunday, with Arsene Wenger to suffer yet again under the Chelsea curse on Sunday.
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