Arsenal’s Premier League season is on the line in this match. They are already six points behind Chelsea for the fourth Champions League spot. A loss sending them nine points behind with only 15 matches left in the season would seriously damage their top four hopes. Even a draw would seriously damage their chances of reaching the top four, so they must be going for a win from the first minute. Nothing else will be good enough for the Gunners, considering the circumstances. Given their recent form, that may be difficult. They have only won two of their last six league matches, but they will need to turn that around immediately if they are to make the top four.
Chelsea have had their own issues in form. Their loss to Leicester City and draw against Southampton over the Christmas period have damaged their position in the top four, though they have held their place for now. The Blues have struggled scoring goals, averaging only one goal per game in their last five matches. They’ll have a chance to score a few against a weak Arsenal defence.
Arsenal have a few injuries to deal with, all to first-team players. They will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck, all out with long term injuries, according to Physioroom.com.
Chelsea also have a few injuries to deal with. Alvaro Morata is a doubt with a hamstring injury and both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marco van Ginkel are both our with long term injuries, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal’s season could be looking even worse off it wasn’t for the presence of Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker is tied at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 14 Premier League goals. He struggled a bit in the reverse fixture, missing some huge chances at Stamford Bridge. He will look to make up for that and lift Arsenal to victory at the Emirates.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
For better or for worse, the Blues are extremely reliant on Hazard. He is quite a good player to rely on, but they are somewhat of a one-man team. They have struggled to score and create without the Belgian. His presence is vital in the team, whether he plays on the wing or up top as a striker. If Chelsea are to win this match, it will likely have to come from a fantastic performance from their Belgian number 10.
This game could go either way, depending on which one can impose themselves. Any result is possible, but the two teams sharing the points seems like a reasonable outcome.