So we come to the last home game of the season, and it couldn’t be any more perfectly setup for another memorable one just like last season. With Manchester United winning today, it leaves Chelsea eight points behind with only nine left to play for. Game over in most people’s eyes, but we can make it a certainty. It’ll make me feel a little dirty if our stopping Chelsea winning hands the title to United, but it will also be glorious to see the despondent looks on their faces as they lay on their backs on the pitch, and subsequently have to give a guard of honour to their fellow Champions League departed on Wednesday. A draw would do the job, but it will also hand third place to Liverpool so we really want to win. Let’s kick them while their down. After the "brawl" in the Carling Cup final I’m betting some of our players can’t wait to get stuck into this game, namely Toure, Adebayor, Eboue and Fabregas.
With Liverpool losing to Fulham we have the perfect chance to go third. We’d need to win though, Liverpool’s superior goal difference means that a draw would take the race to the last game, when Liverpool play Charlton at Anfield and we play Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Added incentive for the victory, as if the players need it.
Wenger Years Statistics
In 19 meetings between the two sides in the league, we’ve won nine, drawn eight and lost two, both coming last season. In twenty nine meetings in all competitions, we’ve won thirteen, drawn ten and lost six. We haven’t beaten Chelsea at home since late 2003, we also beat them at Stamford Bridge that season but were knocked out of the Champions League by them.
Chelsea have won nine and drawn two of their last eleven games, even with Champions League distractions.
Depressing stat, Chelsea have won as many games away from home as we’ve managed at The Emirates Stadium. If we beat Chelsea tomorrow we’ll have won four games in a row for the first time at out new home.
Rosicky’s 50/50 for this game. Ljungberg, Henry, Walcott and van Persie out till next season.
Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack are out for this game. Andriy Shevchenko could return from his supposed injury.
I expect to see:
Bench: Almunia, Senderos, Djourou, Denilson, Baptista
Baptista to start if Rosicky doesn’t make the squad.
Not entirely sure how Mourinho will approach this one. I expect we’ll see a few players rested after the 120 minutes on Tuesday, and with them playing United on Wednesday, but then if they don’t win this it’s game over anyway, and the guard of honour awaits their presence. I’d expect Robben and Wright-Phillips to start, being perhaps the freshest of the midfield players.