Chelsea vs Arsenal preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-up’s | Prediction
This is our match preview ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge including team news, line-ups and prediction
Chelsea will look to tighten their grip on fourth place when they take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Blues slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United last weekend with Isaac Hayden scoring deep into stoppage time to secure a much-needed victory for Steve Bruce’s side at St James’ Park.
Despite the defeat, Chelsea still hold a four point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United so Frank Lampard will be keen to extend that advantage to eight points with a win over Arsenal on home soil tonight.
However, the Gunners make the trip across London also in desperate need of a win as their disastrous campaign continued with consecutive 1-1 draws against Crystal Palace and Sheffield United in the last two games.
Mikel Arteta needs to start turning draws into wins as Arsenal currently languish way down in 10th place – 10 points adrift of Chelsea – so anything other than a win tonight would virtually end their hopes of finishing in the top four.
Chelsea will hand Reece James a late fitness test after he picked up a knee injury at the weekend but Lampard isn’t likely to risk him so Cesar Azpilicueta could move across to right-back with Emerson recalled on the left.
Marcos Alonso is another option for Lampard as he’s fit after recovering from a thigh injury but Christian Pulisic remains out with a groin problem while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still working his way back from an Achilles injury.
Arsenal will once again be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as their top scorer serves the second of his three-game suspension so Gabriel Martinelli should keep his place in attack after scoring at the weekend.
Reiss Nelson has been ruled out with a hamstring injury while Sead Kolasinac is also facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines after suffering a thigh injury in training last week.
Kieran Tierney is still recovering from shoulder surgery and Calum Chambers is out for the season with a knee ligament injury but Sokratis should return to the squad after missing the Sheffield United game due to illness.
Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal: Chelsea were fortunate to win the reverse fixture at the Emirates with two late goals sealing a 2-1 victory so Arsenal will be out for revenge tonight. Chelsea have lost six games in all competitions at home this season while Arsenal have won just one of their last 10 league away games so this is going to be an interesting contest.
Arsenal cannot afford to lose this game as it would end their slim hopes of finishing in the top four and they will be encouraged by their performance against Man Utd recently. Chelsea have struggled at home and I fancy Arsenal to get something. I’m going for 1-1.
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