Chelsea and Hiddink primed to cause yet more misery for Arsenal

The Blues have shut out their title-chasing opponents in five straight league games and have not lost since Andre Villas-Boas was in charge: can they thwart the Gunners again?


Whisper it, but Arsenal could be on the precipice of a mini slump having failed to win their previous two Premier League outings, and now perennial nuisances Chelsea visit Emirates Stadium.

The Blues have been a constant thorn in Arsene Wenger’s side – Roman Abramovich’s arrival coinciding with the Gunners’ ongoing title drought – and now they pose a big threat to Arsenal’s title charge despite their own miserable form.

Chelsea currently sit in 14th place, 19 points adrift of Sunday’s opponents, but were actually ranked three places lower when the sides met in September and managed to pull off a 2-0 victory, albeit against 10 men.

That was the fifth straight league game in which Arsenal had failed to score against Chelsea, which means they have now gone eight hours and two minutes without netting against the Blues.

Should they draw another blank against Chelsea on Sunday, it would equal their longest run without a goal versus any opponent in Premier League history (six games against Liverpool between 1997 and 2000).

The Gunners did manage to score against Chelsea in the Community Shield, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netting the only goal of the game, but otherwise you have to go back to 2013 for their last strike – over the same period, the west Londoners have netted 12 times!

Theo Walcott got the goal that day - though is going through a rough patch at present, scoring just one league goal since September - but Arsenal nevertheless lost 2-1. They've not beaten Chelsea in the league in nine games, since Robin van Persie ripped apart Andre Villas-Boas's high line in 2011.

Furthermore, if Arsenal fans thought Chelsea would be an easier proposition now Jose Mourinho has departed – given that the Portuguese was famous for parking the bus, especially at the Emirates – then think again.

New boss Guus Hiddink has in fact inflicted Arsenal’s heaviest ever Premier League defeat at the Emirates, overseeing a 4-1 victory during his first stint at the club in May 2009.

Victory for Chelsea would be their 50th all-time league win over Arsenal – they have only won 50+ games against seven other clubs – and would also continue their slow return to form under Hiddink, who has yet to experience defeat since returning to Stamford Bridge.