Since becoming Arsenal manager in October 1996, Arsene Wenger has faced 12 different Chelsea managers – but despite the changing faces, the results rarely differ. The Gunners manager has just a 38 per cent win rate in the league versus Chelsea, after two decades of suffering at the hands of the Blues.
Can Antonio Conte add to that misery? You wouldn’t bet against it…
It’s been five years since the Gunners managed to notch up a win against Chelsea, in a record that looks as rocky as Taylor Swift’s relationship history.
Arsenal have drawn two and lost six of their last eight league matches against Chelsea, but most worrying is the fact that they’ve only managed to score two goals – conceding 15 along the way.
There’s been more than nine and a half hours of league football played since Arsenal last scored against Chelsea. In the same amount of time Gunners fans could have watched all three series of Mrs Brown’s Boys with a little time to spare, however it probably would have made for even more painful viewing.
Both teams are level on points through five games this season, but the Gunners will argue they’re the form team coming off three league wins on the spin. Conte has seen his Chelsea side stumble to a draw away to Swansea and a 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool in the last two weeks and he’ll be keen to bounce back in style.
All eyes will be on Diego Costa, a man who has two goals in four games against the Gunners. This season he’s been up to his usual tricks – scoring five goals in five games, as well as picking up three bookings and generally being a mischievous rogue.
This fixture has seen four red cards and 36 bookings in the last eight meetings, so it would be no surprise to see someone head for an early bath again – and Costa is always going to be a contender for that unwanted accolade.
Despite their woeful record against Chelsea, Arsenal are favourites at home this evening as Arsene Wenger looks to break the Chelsea curse. Conte will have other ideas though and Costa may be the man to haunt Arsenal again as both sides aim to keep hold of Manchester City’s coattails.
It’s that Costa finds the onion bag at anytime in a Chelsea win – and that might just kick-start your Saturday night on the tiles in style.