Arsenal’s entire season comes down to this single game. If they win and get back into the Champions League, this season can be considered a success. It’s an absolute failure if they don’t. They choked away a chance at the Champions League in the Premier League, they cannot afford to do that again by losing this game.
Chelsea already have Champions League secured, but their manager could find himself on his way out anyway. Maurizio Sarri’s future has been in doubt for a while, but winning this match may help to keep him around.
Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey, Denis Suarez, Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Konstatinos Mavropanos through various injuries, according to Physioroom.com. They will also be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan because UEFA have failed to give Arsenal the necessary assurances for Mkhitaryan’s safety.
Chelsea will be missing Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante, according to Physioroom.com. Gary Cahill is also a doubt, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal have had a rough campaign, but Aubameyang has proved that he is truly an elite striker. He won the Golden Boot in the Premier League with 22 Premier league goals and carried the Gunners through the semi finals with four goals and an assist across the two legs. Arsenal’s defence is absolutely atrocious, so they will need to rely on Aubameyang and his strike partner Alexandre Lacazette to score a few goals for them to win. They were able to do it against Valencia, now they’ll need to do it again against Chelsea.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
There is a reasonably good chance this is Hazard’s last game for Chelsea. He has been the focal point of their team for years and will need to be the main man at least one more time. The Belgian is responsible for much of the Blue’s ball progression and creativity. If he gets shut down, Chelsea will get shut down and they will lose. He needs to ensure that will not happen and take the game to Arsenal’s porous defence.
Arsenal have played pretty well against Chelsea this season and pretty well in big games in general. That along with the absence of Kante could shift the balance of the match in Arsenal’s favour. Though Chelsea have the best player on the pitch in Eden Hazard and that could prove to be all the difference.