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Played
April 21, 2012 12:45 PM BST
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

By Jay Jaffa

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL

Szczesny

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


CHELSEA

Cech
Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Cole

Lampard, Essien
Ramires, Mata, Sturridge
Torres


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.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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 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 (right) has scored eight Premier League goals against the Gunners.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
5Thomas VermaelenDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
24A. DiabyMidfielder
20Francis CoquelinMidfielder
27GervinhoStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
3José BosingwaDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
26John TerryDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
6Oriol RomeuMidfielder
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Salomon KalouStriker
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
8Juan MataStriker
Players to Watch
Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
14 5 1 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.
Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
24 5 3 0
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.
Prediction
Chelsea are flying at the moment, and with Arsenal's recent blip in form it could be an away win this weekend.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2