While yesterday was a day of high drama at the bottom of the premiership, today’s focus returns to the top with Chelsea desperate for a win to keep the title race alive. Arsenal also have it all to play for, with a victory leapfrogging them above Liverpool to third in the table. How the Gunners would love to spoil the Chelsea party!
Arsene Wenger has a whole host of players out through injury, including Freddie Ljungberg, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott together with Tomas Rosicky also a major doubt. Arsenal have only once finished outside of the top three under the watchful eye of Arsene Wenger, and will be determined to pinch third spot from the Merseyside’s.
Surprisingly, Arsenal have a terrible record against Chelsea having failed to beat them on home turf since 2003 – surely they are due a home win against their greatest rivals? Confusion still surrounds the futures of both Wenger and Henry, and while Arsenal are insistent that both are staying with the Londoners, nothing seems sure at this stage.
Chelsea on the other hand have it all to play for, needing to take all 3 points to stand a chance of catching Manchester United. The Blues have serious fitness doubts over Carvalho and Shevchenko with Michael Ballack not available after sneaking off to Germany for ankle surgery – a move which has angered many at club.
One the face of it Chelsea seem to be a team fighting together, but rumours are rife of in fighting, with large question marks over the Chelsea careers of Shevchenko, Ballack and even Mourinho. The club is in serious danger of meltdown unless the core set of Chelsea players can pull together and reintroduce the team harmony which was so evident last season. This despite the club having only lost one of their last 24 games!
The pressure was beginning to show on the Chelsea players last week, with the gap between Manchester United down to one point at one stage, only to widen to some five points. Mourinho has made himself public enemy number one over the last few days with personal attacks on a whole host of footballing figures, and there is no love lost between Arsene Wenger and the Chelsea manager.
Wenger will be keen to give the fans a long awaited victory over their great rivals, and while they have injury problems, do not bet against the Gunners putting together some of that magic football they are renowned for.
Forecast : Home Win