José Mourinho likes to inspire it, Arsène Wenger likes to avoid it, but there’s little doubt that Saturday’s game will become another clash between the two managers.

This time it may be bigger than ever. After Chelsea’s start to the season and Arsenal’s midweek loss, both managers are under a lot of pressure to deliver results. Add in the fact that, back in August, Wenger beat Mourinho for the first time and suddenly the game has every narrative you could think of.

Can the Gunners cause a stir at Stamford Bridge by producing the same result in a Premier League game?

Press Conference

With both clubs under pressure, Wenger was keen to back his team’s ability to deal with adversity.

We have actually won our last two Premier League games and a win on Saturday would put seven points between ourselves and Chelsea after six matches – it would be huge.

Team News

Per Mertesacker could return but may still be a little “short”, no pun intended. Héctor Bellerín and Aaron Ramsey are fresh having been left at home in midweek, while Petr Čech and Nacho Monreal also didn’t play.

Čech’s start will be huge talking point as he returns to Stamford Bridge after 11 seasons at the Chelsea.

Expect Theo Walcott to start ahead of Olivier Giroud.

Possible XI: Čech; Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Özil, Alexis; Walcott.

The Opposition

After years of watching his horrid baiting tactics it’s nice to see José Mourinho struggling in England. The Chelsea manager is under a lot of pressure with last season’s champions just above the relegation zone eight one win from the opening five games.

A win in midweek eased worries, but a loss against Arsenal on Saturday would really press the panic button.

Thibaut Courtois, Willian and summer signing Pedro have been ruled out of Saturday’s game, so Ramires could reprise his Community Shield role on the right. Cesc Fàbregas may not be trusted in a deep midfield position, so could Kurt Zouma be pushed forward to play alongside Nemanja Matić?

Abdul Rahman Baba made his Chelsea debut on Wednesday and could play left-back, meaning Cesar Azpilicueta would replace Branislav Ivanović, who has been hideously exposed so far this season, at right-back.

Possible XI: Begović; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Rahman; Zouma, Matić; Ramires, Fàbregas, Hazard; Diego Costa.


One defeat does not a season make. Even though it may be hard to swallow, midweek was not the end of the world. Back to the Premier League – where we have also only lost once so far – on Saturday, let’s hope we take all three points back to north London with us.