Chelsea vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger wants Gunners to be out for revenge after last season's 6-0 demolition at the hands of Jose Mourinho

Wenger's 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal ended in humiliation and the Arsenal manager admits that he will remember that match for the rest of his life

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Arsene Wenger has described Arsenal’s crushing 6-0 defeat to Chelsea last season as “a very bad memory” that he will never forget for the rest of his life ahead of this weekend’s London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger takes his side to the Blues off the back of an impressive 4-1 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League, and despite an indifferent start to the Premier League season, the Gunner remains unbeaten.

However, they come up against a Chelsea side that is yet to experience anything other than victory in the league, and with the knowledge that Wenger has never got the better of Jose Mourinho, the North London side face a difficult task to pick up the win and reduce the six point gap that already stands between the two sides.

"We will never forget last year at Chelsea and we have an opportunity to put it right,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference. “We have a big hunger to put that right.

 

“Last year's slow start exposed us to counter-attacks. It was a very bad memory but football is not made of history, it's about performance.

“The win [against Galatasaray] was good for the confidence of the team and we were very efficient.

Video: The Independent's look ahead to this weekend's Premier League action

“We want to go to Chelsea to win. The fact they are six points ahead makes that desire even bigger.

“We are both still unbeaten but I feel we have had a more difficult run than them. It's a vital game for us to stay in the race.”

In Mourinho, Wenger comes up against one of his oldest adversaries left managing in the game after Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day in 2013. Mourinho got the better of Wenger in last season’s drubbing – which just happened to be the Frenchman’s 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners – while the played out a draw in the corresponding fixture at the Emirates.

Wenger admits that Mourinho has developed a real talent for building teams who can perform when it matters, but he insists that the match is about Chelsea vs Arsenal, not Mourinho vs Wenger.

“He has always had fantastic teams,” Wenger added. “It's not a game between two managers, it's a game about clubs.”

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Jose Mourinho has never lost to an Arsene Wenger-managed side

One of the key match-ups will not be strictly be on the pitch, but rather the prospect of Wenger facing the former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, who joined Chelsea for £30m in the summer after leaving his hometown club Barcelona for a second time.

Wenger stressed that there is no ill-feeling between the Spaniard and himself in the slightest, and given that Fabregas’ relationship with Arsenal stretches back to 2003 when he joined the club as a 16-year-old, he hopes that the away fans will give him a positive reception on Sunday afternoon.

“It was his decision,” Wenger said on Fabregas’ departure. “When he left we bought Ozil - we did not need to buy attacking players.

“Everyone respects Cesc here and I want him to get the reception he deserves on Sunday.

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Fabregas will come up against his former side Arsenal

“Fabregas will have a great career because he's a great player. He knows Arsenal had a positive influence on his career. I have no animosity against Fabregas. He's a player I love but he made a decision and we have to accept that.”

Despite reports that influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be out until December, Wenger revealed that the Welshman faces a shorter spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 North London derby draw with Tottenham last weekend.

“I've been told he could be out for three to four weeks, so I count four,” he revealed.

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