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Arsenal vs Chelsea Preview: Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score

Arsenal host London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime. Here’s a match preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game

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Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime for a game that could go a long way to determining how the top-four looks at the end of the season.

Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways after seeing their excellent recent run of form ended by a shock 2-1 defeat to Wigan on Monday. Victory over their London rivals will solidify the Gunners place in third, while severely denting the Blues chances of securing Champions League football next season.

However, Chelsea won’t have to rely on a top-four finish if they can win the competition this season. Roberto Di Matteo’s men made a dream start to their two legged tie with Barcelona after securing a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Arsenal may be hoping Tuesday’s second leg will act as a distraction for tomorrows game but Chelsea are determined not to let their European commitments distract them for their domestic duties.

Team News

Arsenal have been dealt an injury blow ahead of the game with the news that key midfielder Mikel Arteta will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Aaron Ramsey is almost certain to come in to replace the Spaniard in central midfield.

Kieran Gibbs may come back in for Andre Santos at left back, while Laurent Koscielny returns from his two-match suspension. Yossi Benayoun is unable to play against his parent club, so will sit this one out. Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will both be pushing for a start on the left.

Abou Diaby may be fit enough for a place on the bench after playing a reserve game during the week, but Francis Coquelin isn’t in contention despite returning to training.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is expected to rotate his line-up ahead of Tuesday’s second leg at the Nou Camp. Fernando Torres should come in to start up front, with Wednesday’s hero Didier Drogba ruled out with a knee injury.

David Luiz is still out with a hamstring injury, leaving Di Matteo with no choice but to continue with John Terry and Gary Cahill at the heart of his defence. Saloman Kalou, Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge are all expected to come in.

Likely Line-ups

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Predicted Score

Chelsea will be looking to avenge Octobers defeat at the hands of Arsenal, when Robin van Persie bagged a stunning hat trick to seal a 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge. The outcome of this one could be determined by the mindset of the Blues players and how much Wednesday’s win took out of them. They worked their socks off keeping Barca at bay and if they have one-eye on Tuesday’s second leg, they will come un-stuck at the Emirates. We predict Arsenal to edge it. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea.

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