Ahead of the Chelsea's Premier League showdown with in-form Arsenal this weekend, Cesc Fabregas has risked angering his former fans with his most recent comments regarding the club he used to captain.
As revealed in an in-depth interview with Chelsea FC's website, and relayed by the Independent, the Blues midfielder has claimed: "It's been five years for them (Chelsea) without winning the Premier League title; for me it's been 27 years so I'd love to win it as soon as possible."
Indeed, it would be long overdue for a player of Fabregas' calibre to win the Premier League title which eluded him during his eight year stay with the Gunners, with the North London club's last title coming the season before Fabregas made his breakthrough.
As he sealed his switch for the Camp Nou in 2011, the Spaniard admitted that one of his biggest footballing regrets was his failure to claim silverware as Arsenal captain.
However, these comments will no doubt rile some Arsenal fans who were heartbroken when their former idol first left north London for Barcelona, and most recently joined arch rivals Chelsea.
The two sides meet on Sunday with the Blues knowing that taking three points from the Emirates Stadium would take them one massive stride closer to claiming the title. For Arsenal, the stakes are of equally high importance.
Though Arsene Wenger has failed in all 12 attempts at beating a Chelsea side managed by Jose Mourinho, he knows that a victory on home turf would do much to bolster his squad's already sky-high morale ahead of the season's final hurdles.
For the Frenchman, with his team enjoying a fine run of form, there is no better time or place to get one over his Portuguese nemesis.
Whether Fabregas will prove, as he did earlier on in the season, to be the vital difference in quality between the two sides remains to be seen. However, rest assured his recent declarations will not have done much to warm the hearts of the Arsenal faithful who still see his decision to join bitter rivals Chelsea as an unforgivable one.
All that remains to be seen is who will be left ruing these claims.
Will it be Fabregas himself if Arsenal pull the brakes on Chelsea's storming to the title, or the Spaniard if his side beat the Gunners in the same comprehensive manner as at Stamford Bridge earlier on in the season? All bets are open...
Arsenal fans: does Cesc Fabregas deserve respect on his return to the club? Let us know below!
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