Arsenal will look to boost their top four hopes when they take on London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.
The Gunners were in pole position to finish fourth just a few weeks ago, but three consecutive defeats has left them facing a real battle to get back in the Champions League next season.
The latest loss came at St Mary’s on Saturday when Southampton ran out 1-0 victors and it’s left Arsenal sitting fifth in the table – three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand.
That extra match will be played in west London this evening so Mikel Arteta will be desperate to get their season back on track and keep the pressure on Spurs with a positive result against Chelsea.
The Blues head into the game after booking their place in the FA Cup final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday. Second half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount were enough to set-up a showdown with Liverpool in the final next month.
Chelsea sit third in the Premier League table – eight points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand – so victory tonight should ensure they cement third place and Champions League qualification for next season.
Chelsea have been dealt a big blow ahead of the game with the news that Mateo Kovacic has been ruled out with an ankle ligament injury. The Croatian suffered the problem against Palace at the weekend and is now facing at least two weeks on the sidelines.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is also ruled out with an on-going calf injury while Ben Chilwell is still working his way back from a serious knee injury that he sustained late last year.
Tuchel is expected to freshen things up with the likes of Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic all pushing for recalls.
Arsenal also have their own injury concerns to worry about as Thomas Partey remains on the sidelines with a thigh injury while Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.
Takehiro Tomiyasu could return to the squad after resuming full training. The Japan international has been out for almost three months with calf injuries so a place on the bench is probably the best he can hope for tonight.
Alexandre Lacazette is also expected to return to the Arsenal squad after missing the defeat to Southampton due to covid. Arteta has questioned whether the Frenchman is ready to play 90 minutes so Lacazette may be named on the bench.
How to watch/stream
Chelsea versus Arsenal will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, kicking off at 7.45pm this evening. Subscribers can watch the match live on Sky Sports on their TV or via the Sky Go app on their laptop, tablet or mobile device.
Those who don’t have a subscription may have to wait to watch official highlights after the game. However, some fans could choose to watch the match live on a dodgy stream that can be found online shortly before kick-off. There are always streams being posted on social media so they are easy to find – although obviously we cannot condone such a thing!
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso, Mount, Werner, Lukaku
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Xhaka, Lokonga, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Nketiah
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal: The Gunners desperately need to come away with a positive result to get their top four pursuit back on track but it won’t be easy against a Chelsea side that is full of quality throughout their squad.
The Blues have been inconsistent in recent months, which should give Arsenal hope, but we still think Chelsea will prove to be too strong in the end. Hopefully we’ll see a competitive game but we’re backing the home side to claim all three points.