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Willian missing for Chelsea's clash with Arsenal

Published 18/09/2015

Willian will miss Chelsea's clash with Arsenal
Willian will miss Chelsea's clash with Arsenal

Forward Willian is out of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Arsenal with a hamstring injury.

Striker Radamel Falcao, playmaker Oscar (both knee) and Pedro (thigh) could be available, but are doubtful.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is out for around three months following knee surgery, while defender Papy Djilobodji, who is not in the Champions League squad, could be included.

Based on previous comments made by boss Jose Mourinho, a handshake is likely to be offered to Arsene Wenger pre-match.

The Frenchman, who shoved Mourinho in last October's clash at Stamford Bridge, evaded his rival at Wembley when finally ending his 13-match winless run in the Community Shield.

Mourinho was coy on the subject.

"I don't think it's important now and I don't think tomorrow people is focused on that. I think people is focused on what happens on the pitch," Mourinho said.

Chelsea are 17th in the standings after their miserable start of four points from five matches, 11 adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Mourinho is ignoring everything other than the Gunners.

"If we are looking to the table, I don't think that helps," he added.

"It's a match I want to isolate from every possible context. It's just Chelsea-Arsenal and it's a match that we want to win. If it's a pre-season friendly against Arsenal, we want to win. Community Shield, the same."

Petr Cech returns after leaving for North London following 11 years of sterling service at Chelsea.

Mourinho added: "Arsenal goalkeeper until the game ends. When the game ends, if he wants to come to our dressing room, the door is open for him."

John Obi Mikel and captain Terry are the only survivors from Mourinho's first spell.

Terry played every minute in the top flight last season, but has been less in favour this term, although Mourinho maintains he is a key ally.

"I trust him as always and he's one of my men," Mourinho added.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no interest in reopening a war of words with Mourinho.

Despite the intense media focus on the pair's simmering rivalry, which has included Mourinho once branding the long-serving Arsenal manager a "specialist in failure", Wenger would rather his side's performance on the pitch make the headlines.

He said: "No special relationship (between any manager) is my worry, all I worry about is our performance tomorrow.

"I respect everybody in the job and focus on what I love and that is football. All the rest honestly does not concern me much.

"Realistically people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What is important is the quality of what we will see tomorrow morning at 12.45 and you want people to focus on that."

Asked if he would shake Mourinho's hand and if he regretted their touchline bust-up, Wenger replied: "I don't want to talk about that. I have nothing more to say about this situation."

Wenger was asked if he felt Chelsea were in decline. He replied: "I don't know, I leave that to the specialists. I take care of my team and my own problems."

Chelsea head into the match in need of a kick-start to their Premier League campaign, which has seen the champions beaten three times already and down in 17th place.

Wenger, though, says he draws no schadenfreude from the issues facing his rival manager.

"It can happen," he said.

"Let's not forget it is the start of the season and only five games have been played.

"For us it is a big game and we know our position at the end of the season will depend on how well we do in the big games.

"I do not think too much about where Chelsea stand in the league at the moment. I focus more on us performing well with full power tomorrow."

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