"I normally don't praise players individually - and probably this week people are thinking about Samuel and Fernando - but I am not. I think they are good players and good professionals, so sooner or later performances and goals come for them. I felt it was very normal to see them score their goals and to see the way they performed for us last week.
Instead, I go out of my line to praise Cesar. I love these players who play where the team need them, when the coach wants, whether it is for 90 minutes or coming from the bench for one minute. For them it is the team first, the team second, and the team third - and finally they think about themselves. They train hard every day, they are self-motivated, but they are also pushing others in the same direction.
So please, supporters, I hope you like him and respect him as much as I do. Players win matches, squads win titles - I am a lucky manager to have Cesar. Let's play and enjoy this big game.
Then, on Monday we play at the Emirates. Sorry, it's not Monday - it is Tuesday, I forgot they gave us 24 hours to recover and prepare for another big game!"
-José Mourinho; source: Matchday Programme Note (27/10/13 - Man City)
So about 48 hours after Howard Webb's final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge, Phil Dowd will signal to start the match at The Emirates. No wonder Mourinho isn't too happy about it, especially given that the home team will have had an extra day to recover. Then again, they do need all the help they can get.
"We are going to give the game that the people that put the game on Tuesday want. If they want a big game, we cannot give the big game. If they want the players that were playing [on Sunday], we cannot give them that."
"If they want Arsenal to win a trophy, that's a help, because if they want a big game between two big teams in London, they should put the game on Wednesday and not on Tuesday."
-José Mourinho; source: Telegraph
Oh, José, you make me smile.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 19:45 GMT; 3:45pm EDT; 1:15am IST (next day)
Venue/Location: Emirates Stadium, North London, England
Forecast: A mostly clear, cold-ish night fit for two nights before Halloween
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); beIN Sport (USA); Ten Action (India)
* an intriguing new option to watch beIN Sport Play without having to drop a fortune on subscribing to beIN Sport USA on you cable or satellite service is Dish World. For $10/month, you get to stream (on your PC or mobile) beIN Sport and a few other channels that I don't care about. I should mention that literally less than an hour after I subscribed to it this morning, I got an email from one of their product guys offering me a free trial to check them out. But I'll mention them anyway, since so far in the few hours of streaming, I haven't experienced a single FOXSoccer2Go-esque hiccup or NBC Live Extra-esque bout of buffering. So good job to them on that and now back to Watford and Zola and McEachran. I mean this Chelsea preview.
Arsenal squad news: From the senior side, Mathieu Flamini has a groin problem while Mikel Arteta is suspended due to a red card he picked up on Saturday. Wild child Emmanuel Frimpong is short of match fitness. Similar questions surround talented Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld and some other kid named Gedion Zelalem. How's the Bible-placing business going? Oh wait, that's Gideon. So close!
Based on the lineup Wenger rolled with in the previous round's penalty kick shootout win over West Bromwich Albion, we should expect to see the likes of Ryo Miyaichi, Nicklas Bendtner, Nacho Monreal, and probably plenty of youth.
View from the enemy: The Short Fuse
Chelsea squad news: The injury situation is the same as yesterday (clean slate), but that won't play too much into Mourinho's selection. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw all eleven players rotated, especially when the players you can rotate in are the likes of Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Cesar Azpilicueta, Demba Ba, and Michael Essien.
It would be tremendous to see an academy player or two get at least a spot on the bench as well. Lewis Baker made the trip to Swindon last time and I wouldn't complain if Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined him this time. Let's not forget the recovering duo of Tomas Kalas and Kenneth Omeruo either, both of whom, if fit, would be excellent choices to partner David Luiz in defense.
Previously: With Mourinho in charge, Chelsea have yet to lose to Arsenal: four wins and four draws, which include denying Arsenal the Community Shield in 2005 and the League Cup in 2007. Both of those trophy deciders turned Blue to the tune of 2-1, with Didier Drogba scoring all the goals.
More recently, Chelsea have lost just twice in the last ten meetings (and unbeaten in the last three) with the Gunners. As one would expect from teams occupying the top two spots in the Premier League, both teams come into this in excellent form: Chelsea unbeaten in their last eight; Arsenal losers just twice in 15 total matches this season in all competitions (although both coming at home).
Should be fun.