Chelsea vs Arsenal: Predicted line-ups and latest team news for key London derby as Arsenal chase top-four finish.
Arsenal will head to Stamford Bridge hoping to avoid a fourth straight defeat, which would further jeopardize their chances of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
After consecutive losses to mid-table opponents Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton, the Gunners’ fourth-place hopes are in jeopardy.
Given Arsenal’s impending matchups, which include matches against Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur, those games were largely seen as must-wins.
Alexandre Lacazette is a doubt for the London derby, Arteta confirmed in his press conference on Tuesday.
Lacazette was unable to play in the Southampton defeat owing to sickness, but he has confessed that he has discussed a possible return to Lyon once his contract expires this summer.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is also doubtful to play against Chelsea due to a calf problem which has limited him to one Premier League game this year against Manchester City on 1 January.
Mateo Kovacic suffered a ligament injury in Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final 2-0 win over Crystal Palace and will miss the match, along with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell, who is still recovering from an ACL injury.
During Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final triumph, Thomas Tuchel chose to play Reece James as a right-sided centre-back, and he hinted that he could play there more frequently in the coming weeks.
“I think the back three is less demanding physically in comparison to the wing-back position,” Tuchel said. “Given he comes back from a long injury, a muscle injury, with the risk of a re-injury over so many weeks, it is a bit of an advantage to have him in a back three because it is less demanding physically.”
He added: “He can play both positions brilliantly. We only have him once so we need to decide but that’s the reason at the moment. I love him in both positions. I’m not sure (what his best position is).”
Chelsea vs Arsenal: Predicted line-ups
Arsenal predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale: Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Lokonga, Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Nketiah.
Chelsea predicted line-up (3-4-3): Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Werner.