Competition: Premier League – Arsenal FC vs. Chelsea FC
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, April 26th – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Arsenal 11/8 – Draw 11/5 – Chelsea 21/10
Any game between these London rivals is fiery as both sets of fans want to come away with a victory, but the Gunners know that three points in this one will leave them seven behind the leaders with five games to go.
Arsene Wenger‘s side have been in incredible form of late and booked their place in the FA Cup final with an extra-time win against Reading at Wembley last weekend as they hope to retain their trophy.Embed from Getty Images
In the league, they are in the best form of any side, having won their last eight on the bounce and have now won their last nine at home in the league too.
The visit of Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea will likely be their toughest test of the season though and Wenger will have to try and beat the Portuguese head coach for the first time in his career if the Gunners are to be celebrating at full time.
The Blues have not looked as dominant as they did through the early stages of the season but have still won four on the bounce and have not lost since their last visit to North London as Spurs beat them 5-3 on New Years Day.
Mourinho is an expert at setting his sides up to avoid defeat in the big games and he showed that against last weekend in the 1-0 win against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea frustrated Arsenal in last season’s meeting at the Emirates as the game ended 0-0 and a similar scoreline could be on the cards in this one, unless the Gunners can overpower the Blues defence.
Chelsea have not conceded the first goal in any of their 20 games in all competitions in 2015 so if Arsenal can find the net first, things could be interesting.
Arsenal look set to be without two players as Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is set to miss out with a groin strain, while Per Mertesacker is a doubt with an ankle problem, but will face a late fitness test. Gabriel Paulista will play in defence alongside Laurent Koscielny if Mertesacker is out, while Hector Bellerin is expected to return to right-back after Mathieu Debuchy started against Reading last week.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho could travel to the Emirates without a recognised striker as Didier Drogba (ankle), Loic Remy (calf) and Diego Costa (hamstring) are all doubts. Costa could make an unlikely return to the side but that could be too much of a risk. Kurt Zouma is expected to keep his place in midfield after performing well against Marouane Fellaini last Saturday.
Arsenal’s last five: W/W/W/W/W
Chelsea’s last five: D/W/W/W/W
Key Stat: Arsenal have won more points than any other Premier League side in 2015 so far but haven’t beaten Chelsea in their last seven games against their London rivals.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The French striker has scored 10 in his last 12 in all competitions and Arsenal fans will hope he can provide the difference in this one.
Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea – Many are expecting the Arsenal title charge to keep rolling with what would be a huge victory against Chelsea but it’s tough to see that happening. Jose Mourinho has never lost to Arsene Wenger and he is the best coach in the world when it comes to closing up to avoid defeat. Expect them to sit deep and look to break late in the game.