You've all read the stats about our away record against the top 6, haven't you? I would dig it out for you but I've memorised it. It looks something like this LLDLDFFHCBLDLL give or take a few letters, but whatever way you try and spin it, it isn't very nice viewing is it?
I watched Arsene's pre-match chat with Arsenal Player and Arsene was asked the question that I know many Gooners would have wanted to ask themselves.
Question: "When we go away to places like Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, do we need to be more conservative in the midfield positioning?"
Arsene Wenger somewhat swerved the question though.
"You need to just be at your level, that is what it's about. I don't make a special thing about playing home or away. Football is football and football is everywhere the same."
Needless to say, the interviewer (I forget his name) did not press further given that it was on Arsenal Player and all, but I wish we'd hear more questions like this from the journalists rather than the usual nonsense they end up spouting.
I found this comparison of the two teams quite interesting too.
That being all said and done, Arsene is right. Conte is known as a tactical genius by all and sundry yet Arsene Wenger has beaten him in 3 of our last 4 matches. If you want to disregard the Community Shield that is fair enough but there is no getting away from the fact that we were by far the superior team at home last season and the FA Cup final at the end of the season.
In the cup final, Ramsey made many runs into Chelsea's half and caused their midfield all sorts of problems. We were dominant and took the game to them. They were not able to exploit any perceived weaknesses from us because perhaps we just were at the level required. "You need to just be at your level, that is what it's about. I don't make a special thing about playing home or away. Football is football and football is everywhere the same."
So rumour has it that Mesut Ozil misses the game through injury.
Özil expected to miss tomorrow's game through injury #CFCvAFC— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) September 16, 2017
If this is the case, it certainly will make us look different in attack. If Alexis has come through Thursday unscathed then we could have a very front footed trio on our hands.
I don't suppose we will see Alexis waving his forward partners on to support him very often as that is very much their nature already.
If Mesut is missing then I expect us to look like this.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
That looks like a team at least equal to Chelsea in my opinion but in fairness, I am unable to remove my red tinted specs, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Just please for the love of Dennis, please let us not look like the team below with the likes of Fabregas on the ball and Hazard, Pedro, Willian and company streaming forward after we've misplaced a pass in the final third.
I'd quite like to see us set up to be hard to beat and lean on our front three to try and create chances but knowing us, we will more than likely take the game to Chelsea and see if we can score the first goal. Just imagine what a good performance and victory for us would do for the entire club? We would quickly stick the Liverpool defeat in the bin and we could all look forward with some optimism. A big result like that would be just what the doctor ordered. But we've been here before so I am trying to temper my expectations and just cross my fingers.
Come on Arsenal, make our Sunday a good one. Please.