Arsenal vs Chelsea preview | Latest team news | Expected line-up’s | Prediction
This is our match preview ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Chelsea including team news, expected line-ups and predicted score
Arsenal desperately need a win to close the gap on the top four when they take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Gunners have hit a sticky patch since seeing their 22-game unbeaten run come to an end in mid-December and a disappointing 1-0 defeat at West Ham last weekend has left their Champions League qualification hopes hanging in the balance.
Arsenal head in to the weekend sitting fifth in the table – level on points with Manchester United and six adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea – so defeat tomorrow evening would all-but end their chances of finishing in the top four.
Chelsea are in pole position to secure one of the Champions League qualification spots as they sit six points clear in fourth after beating Newcastle United 2-1 last weekend thanks to goals from Pedro and Willian.
Victory at the Emirates tomorrow would not only see Maurizio Sarri’s men extend their lead over Arsenal to nine points but they would also leapfrog Tottenham in to third ahead of their trip to Fulham on Sunday.
Unai Emery is expected to recall Mesut Ozil back in to the squad after he was axed for the West Ham game last weekend and the Arsenal boss has hinted the German playmaker could be involved against Chelsea.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is due to return to full training next week as he bids to recover from a foot injury but he’ll miss out tomorrow along with long-term injury absentees Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding.
Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns to worry about with Ruben Loftus-Cheek the only significant absentee as he continues to recover from a back injury.
Alvaro Morata has trained this week after a hamstring problem but Sarri has suggested he may not include the striker in the squad amid speculation linking him with a move back to Spain this month.
Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: Arsenal have home advantage and desperately have to win this game but the Gunners have won just one of their last 14 league games against Chelsea [W1 D5 L8] so they’ll have to improve upon that record if they want to get back in the mix for the top four. Chelsea won the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season and I think they’ll have enough quality to get a positive result tomorrow. I’m backing a score draw at the Emirates.
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