London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea clash on Monday, December 23 in what will no doubt be a compelling Premier League match-up between two heavyweights of the English game.
At the start of the Premier League era it was Arsenal who had Capital bragging rights as the Gunners shot down any Blue hope of victory by winning nine, drawing four and losing none of their first 13 encounters. However, in the Roman Abramovich reign in West London, everything changed and Chelsea have won eight and lost just two of the last 11 games.
Mourinho's personal record against Wenger, from when the Portuguese was first boss of the club in 2004 to 07, was exemplary. He never lost to the Frenchman, winning five and drawing four. He is one of just four Premier League managers to not once lose to Wenger (can you guess the other three - answers at the bottom of this article).
Speaking to the club's official website, Wenger provided a simple explanation: '[Chelsea] were a fantastic team and he is a good manager. That together makes it difficult.'
He added: 'I think we were close many times. Let’s not forget that when we won the championship in 2004, Chelsea finished second and we had an unbeaten record. At the time, Ranieri was the manager and they finished second.
'Mourinho came in and they bought [Didier] Drogba, [Ricardo] Carvalho and they were even stronger. He is as well a very good manager. They had a fantastic period.'
In a concluding remark, however, Wenger was keen to note that Monday's match was not a case of Wenger versus Mourinho at the Emirates Stadium but, rather Arsenal against Chelsea.
'We had some big games in the past but... it is not a personal battle.'
Wenger has faced, but never defeated, Roy Evans of Liverpool, Roberto di Matteo at Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion and Brian Little at Aston Villa. This season, he also came unstuck against Manuel Pellegrini, but has only ever come across the Manchester City manager once in Premier League competition.
4 - Opposition managers Wenger has faced & never beaten in PL Mourinho (6), Evans (3), Di Matteo (3) & Little (2). Answer.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 20, 2013
image: © tpower1978