EPL Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Arsenal

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EPL Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Arsenal
English Premier League season is only 6 games old, but already we have a match on our hands that may go a long way towards shaping the future of League title. Chelsea the league leaders and defending champions host former champions Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti’s father recently passed away and it has cast a dark shadow over the preparations, but the Blue brigade remains in good state.
In the absence of Ancelotti his number 2, Ray Wilkins is the man in charge and has been leading training sessions.  Wilkins said that he has been assured that Ancelotti would be back in time to take charge of his team, despite the unfortunate death of his
Chelsea boss would fly to London immediately after the funeral of his father on Saturday, and would select the team himself for the all important London derby. Chelsea would be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a 1-0 loss at the hands of
Manchester City.
Ray Wilkins speaking at the pre match press conference said that the death of Ancelotti’s father has obviously affected the whole squad. But the team would be ready in time and so would Ancelotti.
"The players were down yesterday, to be honest," said Wilkins. "They've got a fantastic rapport with Carlo and they were saddened by the news. So yesterday's session was not as bright as it might have been."
"But Carlo is back on Saturday. He will join us in the hotel on Saturday night and will be on the touchline on Sunday," he added.
Ray Wilkins confirmed that Ancelotti would be arriving late Saturday night and insisted that Carlo would be mentally stable enough to deal with the task at hand. Ray added that Ancelotti has always been a tough man and does have control of his emotions.
Looking ahead to the big clash on Sunday, Wilkins said that his team is geared up and raring to go. He went on to say that Chelsea team has always relished playing in big games and that is what actually tests the character of a side.
"I think they're always key games against Arsenal," added Wilkins, praising the North Londoners' passing and movement as probably the best in the league.
"But we enjoy these games and the players enjoy them immensely," he added.
Chelsea set the pace this season with 5 straight wins in their first 5 games, also in the process smashed in 24 goals. They suffered their first loss last week at the hands of Manchester City, in a hard fought match away from home. The league champions were
also eliminated from the Carling Cup earlier the same week, when they were beaten 4-3 by Newcastle. However, a commanding 2-0 win against Marseille in UEFA Champions’ League, the Blue brigade do have their confidence back.
Arsenal, on the other hand, also suffered a defeat last weekend, but it was more of a shock then the one Chelsea got. Arsenal at one stage was trailing 3-0 against West Brom and ended up losing all 3 points at 3-2. It sure was a shock to the system, but
Gunners did manage to fight back and won their Champions League tie convincingly.
As far as encounters between Chelsea and Arsenal are concerned, Chelsea have a massive upper hand in recent games. Arsenal has failed to win in last 4 derbies between the two in all competitions.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager said that history may not be with them but he is expecting a much better show from his team. He said that it’s the performance of a team on a given day and the records do not count in such scenarios.
"History doesn't win you games because I think in the last ten years we have beaten Chelsea more than they have beaten us. So that didn't stop them from beating us last year. Do we turn up with a great performance, which I am convinced we will, we'll beat
them. So football is down to the performance of the day, that's what I believe," Wenger said at a news conference
Wenger has his fair share of injury worries, but big decision for him would be to decide between 2 average goalkeepers in his squad. Emanuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianzki have both had their fair share of howlers but Fabianzki did put up a good show in Champions’
League so he may get a start.



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