Hello friends, welcome to Saturday and if you’re in the UK, what a wonderful day it seems to be at the moment. The sun is shining, it’s due to be 24 degrees in North London and for all intents and purposes, it’s probably the last of what I call the ‘summer fixtures’ before we hit the colder, usually wetter, part of the season. Then we have to wait until April before the warmth on match day normally surfaces.

I’m looking forward to heading over to the Emirates for the 5.30pm kick off today, but mainly so I can share in a couple of jars of the amber stuff with some friends, talking about good times and trying not to hard to take about the game later today. Why? Because when I look at our record against those morally bankrupt collective of humans, it only brings me down, such is our poor record.

We haven’t scored against them in six league games. SIX! When has that ever happened with an Arsene Wenger side? Never. Even when we’ve had poor records against teams, there’s usually goals that have been scored, but not against the Chavs. It’s as unwelcome a record as having that ketchup song the only track on your iPhone.

We have two wins in the league in 15 attempts, having beaten Chelski at Stamford Bridge in 2011 5-3, then there was there 3-1 win at the Emirates in 2010. We have won twice at The Emirates in the league ever. I say again – ever.  That means we have experienced victory at home twice since 2006. That’s ten years people.

That’s mental, right? I mean, how can a team that has so consistently finished towards the top of a division, have such a shocking record? If you didn’t name the two teams, then asked a stranger to guess which two Premier League teams have this record, you’d probably guess at Arsenal, Chelski or United as the team with all of those wins and clean sheets (the clean sheets bit probably rules us out though!), and a team like Sunderland, or Villa, or West Brom, being the team that has such a poor record.

This unwanted record is so bad, it feels to me like it’s beyond probabilities now, which is ironic because me being a man who believes in football karma is one of the strongest reasons I have for us beating Chelski today. I mean, we can’t go forever being this crap against them, can we? There has to be something which sways in our favour at some stage, right?

Wrong. What I’ve learned is that football karma only tends to come back to bite me, rather than working in my favour. Who knows though, right? Maybe today is the day.

But I’m not holding out too much hoe. Life is running a sick joke on us. IT’s sick because you only have to look at the transgressions of that club to know the mantra the good guys don’t always win is painfully true. That club are evil from its core and they have always seemed to be able to get one over on us.

Last season was no exception and it comes as no surprise that my chief concern with today is our discipline when it comes to dealing with the walking troll that is Diego Costa. He will have antics. He will try to gain any advantage. So as Arsene said in his presser yesterday, we have to be stronger than that. We cannot rise to his inevitable bait. That’s where the pace of Koscielny and Mustafi may come in handy, because the hope is that they can recover from any balls in behind. But if there are balls in behind, we can do without any rash tackles, because we still have Cech as the last line of defence. We also have Michael Oliver as the referee, who is the guy who stayed strong in the wake of an unhappy Old Trafford home crowd when we beat them in the cup a couple of seasons ago, so I just hope that we don’t give him any reasons to think. Let’s lave that to those scummers.

I suspect there will be a few opportunities given to Costa today. I just hope he doesn’t take them though. We’ve been letting teams in behind our back line for a few matches now. I don’t anticipate that will have stopped by today. So I think this game has goals in it.

The good news, I hope, is that we have goals in us too. I suspect Arsene will go for a mobile and pace attacking three, which with Chelsea’s central defensive pairing not exactly being the quickest, could be an opportunity for us. We just have to break them down. I have a feeling they will sit a little deeper, then use pace on the counter in the shape of Hazard, Costa and Willian. Kanye, Matic and their back four will be compact and they’ll leave the attacking players to expose us, so what we have to do is to make sure we don’t play that horrific high line that has caught us out time and time again against Chelski.

Space in the midfield is what I’m hoping for, because Ozil having a little bit of time would be nice, although I won’t hold out too much hope. It’s why I am also praying for Xhaka to start. The guy can pick a pass, and if Chelski are going to catch us on the counter, wouldn’t it be better to have playmaker who is sitting deep and in front of our back four in the event that one of our attacks breaks down? That’s what I think and I hope that’s in Arsene’s mind too. Chaka has impressed most of the time that he’s been on the field, so I would love to see him get the chance to do so in a big game like today’s.

My gut though, says we’ll see: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Iwobi, Walcott, Alexis. Personally I’d swap Xhaka for Coquelin and move Alexis wide left for Perez up top. Let’s see if the Spaniard can’t irritate the central defenders a little bit. They know how to play against Giroud, so even if he’s fit I’d be inclined to stick with pace. Plus, Perez will be buzzing after his two goals in midweek.

The key to today will be a high and fast tempo. Chelski in defence are not the quickest and much like our start to the season, they’ve looked laboured, so if our team are up for this game, then why can’t we start quickly and try to blitz them? That’s what i’m hoping for, anyway.

Right, that’s yer lot. Get at it and cheer on The Arsenal!