Hopeful Wenger drills players for battle of Stamford Bridge
February. The month known for its romance with Valentine’s Day is one that is resonated for heartache… if you’re an Arsenal supporter.
The perennial make-or-break month in their aspirations domestically and in Europe begins at their least favourite place, in recent years, Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners travel to west London in the early Premier League kick-off today in a match that could define or derail their season.
Victory at bitter rivals Chelsea, will see them close the gap on the league leaders to just six points. Defeat will mean a 12-point gap with just 14 games remaining.
Arsenal’s league record at the Blues in the last 10 years is one that makes for miserable reading: Played 10, won two, drawn one and losing the other seven – including a demoralising 6-0 drubbing in Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal.
Wenger has the blueprint and players to halt Chelsea’s surge to the title – he proved that earlier this season.
The manner in which they picked apart Antonio Conte’s side in a dominant 3-0 win at the Emirates was a display to behold of crisp and incisive penetration and movement.
The Frenchman will have 10 of the starting XI for that match at his disposal with only playmaker Santi Cazorla still missing through injury. The question is can his team impose himself at Stamford Bridge like they did at the Emirates?
Chelsea haven’t looked back since then – losing only once more in the league during their stunning run to the top of the table.
This time last season, the spotlight was very much on Arsenal and they wilted.
After a seemingly last-gasp season-defining win over Leicester on Valentine’s Day, they capitulated just two weeks later at Manchester United – losing 3-2 to a team that was bereft of several first-team stars as Marcus Rashford ran riot. These matches sandwiched a 2-0 loss at home to Barcelona in the first leg of their last 16 tie.
Culled from Dailymail.co.uk