Chelsea aim to exact revenge on Arsenal for their defeat earlier this season and move above Leicester City on Wednesday night
The Premier League’s busy midweek fixture list continues on Wednesday night, as a London derby takes centre stage when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.
When the sides last met, it was one of the most shocking results of the season, as Arsenal, who were 15th at the time, beat Frank Lampard’s Blues 3-1 on Boxing Day to kickstart a superb second third of the campaign. It was the beginning of a turnaround for Mikel Arteta’s side, but momentum waned and the Gunners are set to finish the season in mid-table.
A month after that game, Lampard was handed his p45 and Thomas Tuchel came in, transforming Chelsea into a different beast. Heading into next season, the Blues look like a genuine title challenger for the likes of Manchester City, especially after beating them 2-1 last weekend.
Tuchel’s side are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and go into the game against the Gunners in good shape, with only Andreas Christensen and Mateo Kovacic missing through injury. The Croatian hopes to return before the end of the season from a hamstring problem, which has kept him out of the last four matches.
Christensen’s hamstring injury suffered chasing Gabriel Jesus against Man City at the weekend isn’t as bad as first feared, and the Dane is hoping to return for one of the two upcoming games against Leicester City, either in the FA Cup final or the league game the following week.
As for Arsenal, their league form since crashing out of the Europa League has been fine, picking up wins over Newcastle and West Brom to leave them with the slimmest of hopes of making the competition next season.
Emile Smith-Rowe scored his first league goal of the season against the Baggies, but is facing a late test on a hamstring problem ahead of the trip to West London. David Luiz and Pablo Mari have only returned to training this week and will both likely miss out, with Gabriel and Rob Holding continuing at centre-back. Granit Xhaka is definitely missing with a groin strain.
A win for Chelsea could EDIT put them within three points of second-placed Manchester United, while Arsenal could move above Everton into 8th if they can pull off the shock and become just the second team to beat Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League.
Chelsea take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, May 12th. Kick-off is at 8.15pm