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Arsenal vs. Chelsea: match thread

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WHO'S THAT TEAM WE CALL THE ARSENAL, WHO'S THAT TEAM WE ALL ADORE?

Jamie McDonald

I'm really damn sick of losing and squeaking out draws to Jose Mourinho and his smug face.  He's arrogant - rightfully so, perhaps, considering his accomplishments - and knows just how to needle Arsenal fans, Arsene Wenger and, piece by piece, pick apart our squads on the way to netting at least a point.  Today, December 23rd, 2013, Arsenal must put a stop to this.

Tonight, at the Emirates, one of the strongest Arsenal sides in years welcomes Chelsea and Mourinho, and while it's only December the implications are clear.  Win, and we regain the lead in the table.  Draw, and we're tied atop the table but 2nd to Liverpool due to goal differential.  Lose, and we fall to 4th place with Everton a point back.  Neato!

As many thought before the season began, the race to finish top four was going to have 6-7 contenders and we're seeing how dropping points in any matchday - regardless of opponent - can damage current table standing.  Newcastle and some other club are only three back from Everton at the moment, and then Manchester United right behind them.  It's all good and well to say that it's understandable to drop points versus these so-called "top clubs," but at a certain point Arsenal must win a few of these to get the Michael Owens of the world off our backs.  Here's hoping the club starts to shut he and other like-minded idiots the hell up starting with today's match.

The lineups:

Arsenal bench: Fabianski, Monreal, Jenkinson, Flamini, Cazorla, Bendtner, Podolski
Chelsea bench: Schwarzer, Luiz, Cole, Oscar, Mata, Schurrle, Eto'o

GOOD OLD ARSENAL, WE'RE PROUD TO SAY THAT NAME
WHILE WE SING THIS SONG, WE'LL WIN THE GAME