Football

Mourinho: We won't be 'invincibles' like Arsenal

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea are top of the Premier League and unbeaten entering tonight's clash with Arsenal, but the Blues boss does not expect the feats of Arsene Wenger's "Invincibles" to be emulated.

The Gunners negotiated the 2003-04 Premier League season without defeat, an achievement previously performed only by Preston in the 1880s.

Just like Chelsea's one-in-a-generation 6-0 defeat of the Gunners in March, Mourinho believes it is not something which will happen in the modern Premier League era.

"It's something that happened once in a lifetime," Mourinho said.

"I don't see, in modern football with the competitiveness of this Premier League, one team being champions without a defeat.

"That will stay in the history as the second and the last time."

Chelsea have won five and drawn one of their six Premier League games so far this season and face a Gunners side also unbeaten.

Arsenal capitulated on their last visit to Stamford Bridge, a match remembered for the gaping defensive holes as well as referee Andre Marriner's mistake in sending off Kieran Gibbs for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Mourinho anticipates a much sterner test of his side, which features former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings in midfield.

Fabregas was a precocious teenager when Arsenal won the 2004 title.

"They will always be difficult opponents," the Blues boss added.

Mourinho loves the intensity of a derby and testing himself against the best.

His players will also need no additional motivation, just a few instructions.

"I like it difficult," he said. "I like to play against the best. My players also like it. Sometimes we are worried about the focus and we are worried about the approach.

"When you play big matches, you know the players are more than ready for that. I have a meeting with them, but not a motivational meeting. Just a meeting to try to analyse a few things.

"Just about football. Never about the emotional side of it, or the motivational side of it."

Wenger, meanwhile, has told his team that posing their own attacking threat at Stamford Bridge will be just as important as keeping "killer" Chelsea striker Diego Costa quiet tonight.

Spain international Costa (above) has scored eight goals in six Premier League appearances since his £32 million ($66m) summer move from Atletico Madrid, but Wenger insists Arsenal - spearheaded by Danny Welbeck, who netted a European hat-trick in midweek - can offer plenty of forward threat themselves.

"You have to find a balance between nullifying their strengths, but without forgetting to express your strengths," he said.

"It is very important that we focus and concentrate on us having great determination, great desire and great hunger to have a great performance, and focus on ourselves and the way we want to play."

Wenger has long been an admirer of Costa, and is impressed by the way the Brazil-born forward has settled so quickly into the English game.

"He has done fantastically well," the Frenchman said. "He has all the aspects of a striker - he is focused, always determined and ready for a fight.

"He has also got players who can feed him like Fabregas and (Eden) Hazard, who can find him with final balls.

"Costa is a very efficient player. The timing of his runs and his determination, his killing determination - you feel he is a killer, he has that in him (when in front of goal)." - PA Sport.