Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to put an end to his winless run against Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho when the Premier League leaders visit the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash.
Leaders Chelsea are 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal with six games remaining this season but Wenger, who is yet to beat Mourinho in 12 attempts, is in confident mood after his side’s run of nine straight wins in all competitions.
“We have not always lost, first of all, in 12 attempts. We have come close to beating them a few times and they’ve always had very strong teams,” Wenger told a news conference on Thursday.
“I’m not a great believer in history. I just think football is down to the fact that the performance on the day will decide the game and the result, so let’s focus on that.
“We are on a good run and we have an opportunity to beat them at home, and we want to take it. From a good run of form you get a good belief and we have good solidarity. We know we have passed many tests recently where we were questioned.
“It is very important for us to beat them. I think everybody on board is highly focused to achieve it. We will prepare well to do that.”
Wenger and Mourinho were involved in a touchline spat during Chelsea’s 2-0 victory in October, with the Arsenal boss pushing his Portuguese counterpart in the chest following a robust tackle by Gary Cahill on Gunners’ forward Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger refused to be drawn on his frosty relationship with Mourinho, but the Frenchman said that while the title looks to be out of Arsenal’s reach, victory for the Gunners could hand them a psychological boost over Chelsea in the future.
“Our game is so popular because it is not always predictable,” Wenger said. “That is why even if you finish first this season you can be three or four places behind next season.
“Chelsea have the championship in their hands but what we can do is get closer to them.
“We want to strengthen our position in second because it’s far from being done.”