The Gunners’ recent slump has seen them lose ground in the top-four race. Once comfortably entrenched in the Champions League places, Mikel Arteta’s side now find themselves in fifth, three points behind Tottenham Hotspur but with a game in hand.
Chelsea, meanwhile, bounced back from their Champions League exit with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace to advance to the FA Cup final.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have won six of their last seven league games, keeping a clean sheet in five of them. In the reverse fixture, goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James fired the Blues to a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Emirates.
Arsenal Team News
Alexandre Lacazette missed the loss at Southampton after contracting COVID-19 and Mikel Arteta said in his press conference that the Frenchman would be assessed before taking a call on his selection.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is closing in on full fitness, but the trip to Stamford Bridge might just come too early for the Japanese.
Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey will be sidelined for the next few weeks at the very least and could potentially miss the rest of the season.
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea (4-2-3-1)
Aaron Ramsdale hit the ground running following his move from Sheffield United, but the English keeper has embarked on a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks. He has kept just one clean sheet in his last eight appearances and will come under immense pressure against a formidable Chelsea attack.
With Tomiyasu not expected to return for this clash, Cedric Soares will keep his spot at right-back in the Arsenal lineup. Gabriel and Ben White will maintain their partnership in central defence, but Mikel Arteta has a big decision to make with regards to the left-back spot.
Granit Xhaka was deployed as a make-shift left-back against Brighton and struggled, while Nuno Tavares did not cover himself in glory when he started against Southampton. Xhaka offers a little more control in midfield, so Tavares might just get the nod once again to feature in the Arsenal lineup.
In Thomas Partey’s absence, Arteta has put faith in Albert Sambi Lokonga but the Belgian looked well off the pace in the last couple of games. Given Arsenal’s lack of midfield options, Lokonga will likely be given another opportunity to prove his worth.
Granit Xhaka will partner the Belgian in central midfield in the Arsenal lineup, with Martin Odegaard starting in his usual No. 10 role.
Bukayo Saka is the first name on the team sheet for Arsenal. The Englishman is the catalyst for the majority of the Gunners’ attacks and will fancy running at the likes of Marcos Alonso.
Emile Smith Rowe was benched against Southampton and Arsenal struggled for energy and creativity in the Englishman’s absence. He is expected to return to the Arsenal lineup against Chelsea.
Eddie Nketiah struggled to lead the line on his own against Southampton and he could be booted out in favor of Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian’s pace and dribbling ability could cause plenty of problems for the Chelsea backline.