Bar­clays Pre­mier League

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Arsene Wenger has called on his de­fence to be “com­pletely cold-blooded” and to keep their dis­ci­pline when chal­lenged by Chelsea and Diego Costa on Satur­day.

Arse­nal wel­come their Lon­don ri­vals to the Emi­rates Sta­dium look­ing to beat them in the Pre­mier League for the first time since Oc­to­ber 2011.

Last sea­son, Arse­nal ended the 2-0 de­feat to Mour­inho’s side at Stam­ford Bridge with nine men af­ter both Gabriel and Santi Ca­zorla were sent off.

And Wenger knows his de­fence, with Lau­rent Ko­scielny and Shko­dran Mustafi likely to start against An­to­nio Conte’s men, need to stick to their game and not be tempted into a bat­tle with Diego Costa.

Asked how his de­fence can face up against the Spain in­ter­na­tional, he replied: “By be­ing com­pletely cold-blooded and just fo­cus on the game and not re­spond. Just try to negate his qual­i­ties and his game.” Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho joked he is now the ‘Worst One’ rather than the ‘Spe­cial One’ as foot­ball’s ‘’Ein­steins’’ crit­i­cise and scru­ti­nise his side who are look­ing to avoid a third straight Pre­mier League de­feat.

United ended a run of three straight losses with a 3-1 mid­week win in the EFL Cup at Northamp­ton, af­ter which Mour­inho hit out at the crit­ics who he dubbed “Ein­steins’’.

The Por­tuguese took a sim­i­lar ap­proach ahead of Le­ices­ter’s visit, mak­ing light of the sit­u­a­tion by re­fer­ring to him­self as ‘’the worst man­ager in the his­tory of foot­ball’’ when asked how hard it would be for today’s op­po­nents to re­tain the ti­tle.

‘’Not many teams dur­ing the Pre­mier League his­tory they could do that,’’ Mour­inho, who re­tained the ti­tle in 2006 with Chelsea, said. “One of the teams was Man United, an­other one was some team man­aged [by] the worst man­ager in the his­tory of foot­ball, but it’s really dif­fi­cult.’’ Burn­ley for­ward An­dre Gray has been given a four-match ban for com­ments made on so­cial me­dia.

The 25-year-old had been charged by the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion for bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute over ho­mo­pho­bic posts he made on Twit­ter in 2012.

Fol­low­ing an In­de­pen­dent Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion hear­ing on Thurs­day, Gray was also fined £25,000, warned as to his fu­ture con­duct and or­dered to at­tend an FA ed­u­ca­tion course.

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