Premier League Preview: Chelsea v Arsenal
By Football News
Arsene Wenger will take charge of Arsenal for the 1,000th time when they visit Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Frenchman took on the role of manager in 1996, when Arsenal called Highbury home, were yet to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and Ian Wright was leading the line.
Wenger has since gone on to win three Premier League titles, qualify for 15 consecutive Champions League tournaments and lift four FA Cups, but claims the time has flown by.
He told Arsenal's official website: "It makes you feel 'where did the time go?' It looks to me like I started yesterday, I can't believe it is such a long time.
"Why? Because you're always focused on looking forward to the next game and when you look back you think I made quite a distance there.
"Despite that, your only interest is the next game, our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one."
Wenger's "drug" this week is the prospect of a trip to league leaders Chelsea and, while Arsenal have a game in hand over Jose Mourinho's men, defeat would be a bitter pill to swallow as he chases his first silverware in nine years.
Chelsea come into this clash off the back of a comfortable UEFA Champions League victory over Galatasaray, which saw them sail into the competition's quarter-finals, but they will be keen for a return to winning ways on the domestic front after losing 1-0 at Aston Villa last time out - a match they ended with nine men and with Mourinho sitting in the stands.
The Portuguese has since been charged with improper conduct for encroaching on the field of play and has been given until Monday to respond, but expressed earlier this week that he would be delighted to emulate his opposite number's achievement.
"If Chelsea gives me the chance to arrive to 1,000 matches, I'll be the happiest manager in the world," he said.
Arsenal's midfield injury troubles continue with Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Mesut Ozil (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (foot) all ruled out, but Kim Kallstrom could be in line for his first inclusion in the matchday squad since joining the club on loan in January.
David Luiz was fit enough to make the bench for Tuesday's Champions League clash and may take his place in the starting XI on Saturday, while Ashley Cole (knee) remains a doubt after missing the second leg against Galatasaray.
Brazilian duo Willian and Ramires are both suspended following their dismissals against Villa.