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Blues face Gunners

LONDON. – Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea a year ago marked the turning point in a season that finished with the English Premier League soccer title heading to Antonio Conte’s side at Stamford Bridge.

Arsene Wenger’s team inflicted a 3-0 defeat on their rivals at The Emirates that day but Conte used the experience to change his formation and Chelsea went on a 13-match winning league run.

For Arsenal, it was to be their only victory all season against any of the teams who finished in the top four. The north London club came fifth, missing out on the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, and thus go into Sunday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge off the back of a Thursday night match against Cologne in the Europa League. Chelsea, meanwhile, will have had a four-day break following their Champions League mauling of Qarabag on Tuesday.

Although the circumstances are very different from this time last year, when Arsenal were in the Champions League and Chelsea were not even in Europe, it is business as usual for Wenger. “Wednesday night or Thursday night is no different for us, apart from the fact that it’s a different competition, but when you play Wednesday-Saturday it’s similar to Thursday-Sunday,” the Frenchman said this week.

The pressure will be on Arsenal to avoid a third successive league defeat on the road having already come unstuck at Stoke City and Liverpool, where they were thrashed 4-0.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have once again learned from their mistakes to put together a three-match winning run following a shock opening-day home defeat by Burnley. – Reuters.

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