Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has played down the rivalry with Arsene Wenger ahead of his side’s Community Shield clash with Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.
Mourinho has never tasted defeat against the Frenchman, the pair often exchanging verbal blows in the media while also needing to be kept apart on the touchline during a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge last October.
With little love lost between the pair, Mourinho re-opened their rift recently with comments suggesting Arsenal were not averse to splashing the cash – something somewhat at odds with Wenger’s more organic philosophy.
The Arsenal boss sidestepped that barb and Mourinho refused to stoke the fires further going into Sunday’s curtain-raiser.
Asked about the prospect of beating Arsenal, he said: “I don’t take a lot of satisfaction, I don’t explode with happiness when I beat them, and I won’t make drama when I lose.
“I just want my club to get the best personal results. It doesn’t matter about Arsenal. I just want my club to get the best results. We can lose or draw, in this case you have to be ready for everything.
“I never make my victories over Arsenal an expression of happiness or special pride.
“It’s not a friendly like against Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain, or Arsenal versus Wolfsburg, it’s more than that, but less than a Premier League match.
“We lost against [New York] Red Bulls and were not happy, so it’s normal that we always try to play for a result, the Community Shield has more motivation than a friendly.”
Chelsea could offer a competitive debut to Radamel Falcao, while Diego Costa (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (nose) are fit to feature amid injury doubts.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are without Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck – the former afforded extra time off after his Copa America exertions and the latter is yet to shake off a knee injury.
Petr Cech could make his competitive Arsenal debut against his former club and youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide may be afforded another chance to impress after catching the eye in pre-season.
Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla penned new deals at the Emirates Stadium on Friday, with the former urging his team-mates to send a message to their Premier League title rivals this weekend.
“Some people will think it’s just another pre-season game but us players want to go out and win every game we can,” Walcott told the club’s official website.
“It’s important to actually put out a message to the Premier League that we’re ready this year, against the title champions.
“We did it last year against Manchester City [a 3-0 win] so there’s no reason we can’t do it again.”
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