Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal will learn more home truths, says John Terry

John Terry has said that Chelsea are ready to inflict another home defeat on Arsenal in tonight's crunch London derby.

The Barclays Premier League champions crushed the Gunners 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium last season and 4-1 in the previous campaign.

Last November's victory was widely described as “men against boys” and although Chelsea go into tonight's game on their worst run of league form for a decade, captain Terry believes a repeat performance is on the cards.

“We think we can go there and do what we did last year,” said.

“If we're not thinking that, we shouldn't be playing.”

Chelsea have won only one of their last seven league games and have not tasted victory in any competition for more than a month. That was partly because of the postponement of last Sunday's home clash with Manchester United, who the Blues could find themselves six points behind when they take to the field.

Terry added: “Everyone is in the right frame of mind; it will be two weeks by the time the game comes around since we've played.

“We're raring to go and want to get off to a flying start.”

Chelsea's miserable run has seen them slip from top spot to fourth in the table, a point behind tonight's opponents.

They have only found the net four times and kept just one clean sheet in that period, which coincided with injuries to key men Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.

But all their star names are back for tonight's game against a side who have scored plenty of goals but have been unable to keep them out at the other end.

Terry said: “Defensively they've conceded goals, and with our strikeforce and the threat we pose opposition sides all the time, one goal and a bit of confidence and everything is looking bright for us again.

“It just takes that one thing to set it off, and hopefully a goal away at Arsenal will do that, and we want to get back to keeping clean sheets.”

However, manager Carlo Ancelotti does not believe Chelsea will find winning at the Emirates as easy as they did last term.

“I think Arsenal changed a little bit compared to last season,” he said. “They've improved their experience. I think that it could be a different game compared to last season.”

Ancelotti became the first manager to win the double at Chelsea during his first season in charge as Arsenal's trophyless run stretched to five years. But the Blues boss believes tonight's opponents — who are strong favourites to land the Carling Cup — may be on the verge of ending that drought.

“They were not able to win (trophies) in the last years because I think that to win you need to have experience in your squad,” he said.

“With young players, it's difficult to find this immediately.

“You have to spend time to give to the young players the opportunity to improve their experience.”

Ancelotti is also confident his own side will not end the season empty-handed, revealing he had once again used the club's Christmas meal to spell out his ambitions to his players.

“Last year, at the same time, we had a Christmas dinner and we spoke about how our dream was to win something and, at the end, we were able to win,” he said. “This year is the same: our dream is to win something. I said to my players the same things.”

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