Arsene Wenger believes we are ready to begin “a new era” against Chelsea by beating them at Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Aside from our victory in last year’s Community Shield, the Blues have held the upper hand in recent years but Wenger is confident that will change.
“It is an important game for us because we feel we are on the way up and Chelsea is a good test and a good opportunity for us to continue our progress,” he said.
“Chelsea in the last 10 years had very, very strong teams. You realise that today as well. Before that period, we were always beating them, after they were always the stronger team for a few years.
“Now, it looks like it’s a new era where it’s a bit more balanced again and we feel we are progressing at the moment so we have a good opportunity to grab and to change what I call ‘the inconvenient facts’ of the recent years.
“Chelsea have always come to the Emirates with a strong defensive solidity and to [try to] catch us on the break, because they know we like to take the initiative,” added Wenger.
“[Antonio] Conte has very strong players in transition, like Hazard, like Willian, like Diego Costa. For us to stop them, these three players, from being dangerous will be one of the keys of the game.”
Another key will be keeping 11 men on the pitch, something we didn’t manage in two Premier League games against Chelsea last season.
“Yes, we talk about that because in the last two games, we’ve played against Chelsea with 10 men,” said the manager.
“Of course for the result on Saturday it will be important the way we play football, but as well the way we behave, because discipline and results are strongly linked. The results we’ve had in the last two games are that we couldn’t play 11 against 11.”
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