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Laurent Koscielny knows the importance of Arsenal's home form

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Laurent Koscielny believes the road to any Arsenal trophy success this season begins at home.

The defender will be looking to keep out reigning Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday afternoon when the now-struggling Blues visit the Emirates Stadium.

And Koscielny thinks the Gunners' form in front of their own fans will be crucial if they are to maintain their challenges on three fronts.

A victory over Chelsea will almost certainly keep Arsenal top of the Premier League while their quest to win a third successive FA Cup sees them host Sky Bet Championship side Burnley next weekend.

Add to that a tantalising Champions League clash with Barcelona on the horizon and it amounts to exciting times for the club's supporters.

But, with a gruelling run of games away from home still to come in the league, Koscielny knows how important home success, including Sunday's visit of their London rivals, will be.

"If you want to win the Premier League, you need to win all your home games," he told Arsenal Player.

"Our seven away games will be very difficult because we play against Man City, Man United, Tottenham, West Ham, Everton, so we need to do the job well at home so we have the points."

Defeat at Stamford Bridge was a rare low-point in the season for Arsenal as the 2-0 reverse was compounded by red cards for Gabriel and Santi Cazorla.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa harassed and harangued both Gabriel and Koscielny - with both players involved in separate altercations with the Spain forward.

It was the latest incident in a long-running, bitter saga between Wenger and Jose Mourinho - who has since paid the price for Chelsea's woeful title defence by losing his job.

But Wenger does not expect a different challenge this weekend purely because it is Guus Hiddink, and not Mourinho, in the opposing dugout.

"Honestly no," Wenger replied when asked if the dynamic of the game changes with Mourinho not involved.

"I look at the quality of the players on the football pitch and never at who sits on the bench. Look at the characteristics of the team, of the players.

"We do not analyse the character of the manager who sits on the bench on the other side."

"More than a manager, it's down to the characteristics of the players. They have the same players.

"It will be an intense game. As usual in the Premier League. Overall, I think because of the qualities of the players on the pitch and what is at stake for both teams, it will be a very intense battle."

Meanwhile, Hiddink is optimistic Chelsea can maintain their impressive hold on Arsenal, despite the contrasting Premier League fortunes of the sides this season.

"I'm convinced my team on Sunday will give its utmost to get results which have been achieved in the recent past," Hiddink said.

"It's a bit different to the past, of course. I'm not a person who likes to deny the facts.

"Look at the statistics. We're closer to that (relegation) line than we are to the Champions League positions.

"It doesn't mean we're looking down. We have to look up."

Hiddink took confidence from Chelsea's last-gasp draw with Everton, when John Terry's controversial goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time secured a point last Saturday.

"I was very happy with the reaction of the team," he added.

"It was a narrow escape, but it was good to see that a team, in any minute or any second, even in the dying seconds, didn't want to surrender too easily."

Hiddink, who has presided over a six-match unbeaten run, but only two wins, knows such a result can provide a large fillip for a side whose confidence has plummeted this season.

"Every win (can)," said Hiddink, who succeeded Mourinho in December.

"Everyone knows where we were in December. So far we are unbeaten on one hand; on the other hand we cannot be fully satisfied with all the results.

"Being unbeaten means we have to make the next step and not drop back into inconsistency.

"One day good or half a game good and another day less consistent. That's where we have to work.

"I see the players working already with a lot of ambition, but also with confidence.

"I hope and think we will see another very attractive game on Sunday."

Chelsea's chances could be significantly boosted by the availability of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.

Both are in contention after recovering from injuries. Costa suffered a bruised shin against Everton and Hazard has missed the last three games with a groin injury.

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