16 September 2017
By James Ojo
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has expressed confidence in the ability of his side to beat Arsenal when both teams clash on Sunday, provided none of his players see red.
Arsenal head to Stamford Bridge having won their last two games against Chelsea – first a narrow 2 – 1 FA Cup final triumph at Wembley in May, and another, a penalty shootout victory in August at same stadium in the Community Shield.
During the two previous meetings, one of Conte’s men was sent off. Victor Moses received a second booking for diving in the first match, while Pedro was shown a straight red for a late tackle on Mohamed Elneny in the second. Conte is keen to avoid giving the Gunners a potentially decisive man advantage for the third time in a row.
He said: “I hope to finish the game with 11 players, because in the last two games, FA Cup final and the Community Shield, we finished two games with 10 men,” he said.
He explained that he had already instructed his players on the need to be more discipline to avoid red card.
“For sure when you start the game you try to keep always the right discipline, but in both situations I think you have to see very well if there was the red card or not,” he added.
The Italian tactician went on explain how intense the game would be.
His words: “I watched the [Arsenal] game and Wenger rotated a lot of players, a lot of players rested for the game against us,” he said. “I think it’s not an advantage.
“I think Arsenal is one of the six top teams in England. And I think they have a really good squad to fight for something important – the title in England for sure.
“For this reason I think it’s a massive game for us. It’s the same when you play against City, against Liverpool, [Manchester] United, Tottenham.
“In England there are six top teams and when you play against one of them it’s always a massive game.
“Anything can happen so we must pay great attention. We have to fight and play a game against a rival.”
Both teams would meet on Sunday after each side posted an impressive outing in Europe midweek.
“While Chelsea romped to a 6 – 0 victory against their Champions League opponent, Qarabag, Arsenal recorded a 3 – 1 victory against FC Köln in the Europa League.”