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Premier League

  • 21 April 2012
  • • 12:45
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 60111

Arsenal - Chelsea Preview: The Blues have won three of their last six games away to the Gunners

Hosts hold a seven-point lead over the visitors in the race for a top-four position but a loss would let not just Di Matteo's side back into the hunt but also Spurs and Newcastle




Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos
Ramsey, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho


Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Cole

Lampard, Essien
Ramires, Mata, Sturridge

They may have the more demanding schedule but Chelsea arrive with a far lighter injury list than their hosts.

The Gunners have lost Mikel Arteta for the rest of the season with an ankle injury and he joins long-term absentees Per Mertesacker (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (knee).

There is better news for Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby, who are both expected to shake off knocks to make themselves available for the London derby, but Yossi Benayoun is ineligible because of his loan deal from the Blues.

Chelsea will have to get by without Branislav Ivanovic, who will finish his three-game suspension after this clash.

On the injury front, David Luiz is expected to miss another week with a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham. Ryan Bertrand (calf) and Oriel Romeu (illness) could both make the matchday squad, although Didier Drogba misses out after playing two games in four days last week.

  • Arsenal have won 12, drawn two and lost two of their last 16 games at the Emirates.
  • The Gunners will be without Mikel Arteta for the remainder of the season and have not won a Premier League game without him this season.
  • Robin van Persie has scored against 17 of the 19 Premier League clubs this campaign - the Blues are not an exception to this streak.
  • The Dutch striker notched a hat-trick in the 5-3 reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, where Arsenal became the first side since Liverpool in 1996 to put five past Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have only won three of their last 19 trips to Arsenal but those have all come in their last six visits.
  • The Blues have conceded more goals (18) in the final 15 minutes than any other club in the Premier League.
  • Didier Drogba (pictured right) has scored eight Premier League goals against the Gunners.

Players to watch

T. Walcott

Position: Attacker

Games: 3

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  • 0
  • 0
Walcott has been a key part of Arsenal's attack this year after developing an almost telepathic understanding with Robin Van Persie. The flying winger has laid on a goal for his teammates on 11 occasions, as well as contributing eight goals in his most productive season for the Gunners. He will need to be at his best to get past Ashley Cole, of course, but Walcott is in great form.

F. Lampard

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
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He had a pivotal role in the determined 1-0 win over Barcelona on Wednesday, playing the key pass that opened the space for Ramires to gallop through and assist Drogba's goal, as well as thumping a brilliant free-kick past Cudicini at Wembley on Sunday. Lampard seems more content under Roberto Di Matteo and looks to have found the limelight once again. His 11 goals this season suggest he'll be a big threat to Arsenal's flimsy defence.

Editor's Prediction

Chelsea are flying at the moment, and with Arsenal's recent blip in form it could be an away win this weekend.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea

Top 3 Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
2 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE
Arsenal FC ARS
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
Arsenal FC ARS
1 - 3
Chelsea FC CHE