Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the reason Chelsea are sitting at the top of the Premier League is partly down to their fixture schedule.
The Frenchman said Arsenal's matches so far have been 'extremely difficult', the last of which was a 2-0 loss away to the Blues.
Chelsea sit top of the Premier League with 19 points from a maximum of 21. Arsenal are in 8th, nine points behind.
Wenger told Canal+: "Chelsea will also have a difficult period. Our schedule was extremely difficult and I have the belief that we can close the gap to them."
Arsenal's matches have been against Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Manchester City and Crystal Palace: In their opening seven games, four teams who finished in the top seven in the Premier League last season.
Chelsea have played Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Swansea City, Leicester and Burnley. That's three teams who finished in the top seven in 2013/14.
There is not a huge difference, not enough to account for nine points and the 'extreme' description utilised by Wenger on this occasion.
At the end of the month, Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, a game which will provide another stern test for the Blues.
Wenger will no doubt hope Louis van Gaal's side can do the rest of the league a favour, and if they can beat Chelsea, it will be interesting to see how Mourinho's side react.