Per Mertesacker has urged his Arsenal teammates to respect how dangerous Chelsea can be.

The injured skipper spoke ahead of the Blues’ trip the Emirates, echoing Arsene Wenger’s point that we need to keep all 11 players on the pitch this time.

It’s a bit rich coming from Per. As much as I love the man, he was sent off in the corresponding fixture last season for a silly tackle. This time, however, he’ll have to watch from the stands due to a knee injury.

Speaking to the Arsenal programme, the BFG warned his teammates to respect Chelsea as they’re a good team.

“Last year we lost twice against Chelsea and they are one of the contenders for the title,” he said.

“They have a good squad and dangerous strikers and we absolutely need to keep 11 players on the field – that’s really important for this game. We need to take care of the ball, especially when they go on the counter.

“They are really dangerous then and we need to respect that. The home crowd can make the difference as well, as you could see last year when we could count on them. Our players love that extra support and it can really make the difference.”

Chelsea lost their most recent Premier League game to Liverpool so we should have the momentum. However, we seem to lack the (forgive me) mental strength to beat the Blues. Hopefully, this has disappeared with Jose Mourinho’s dismissal.

It’ll be a tough match no doubt but three points would really make a huge statement.

You can read more about what Per Mertesacker had to say ahead of Chelsea on the Arsenal programme app, which you can buy from Play Store or iTune