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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
Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos
Ramsey, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho
Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Cole
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.
|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.
- Chelsea have scored and conceded 95% of their goals from inside the box - the highest percentage in the league. The Blues are 28/1 to win the game 3-1 with bet365.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea FC
- 14.1 %
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea FC
- 14.03 %
Arsenal 1-3 Chelsea FC
- 10.72 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 20, 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Arsenal 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 29, 2012||Arsenal 1 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 21, 2012||Arsenal 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Oct 29, 2011||Chelsea FC 3 - Arsenal 5|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 27, 2010||Arsenal 3 - Chelsea FC 1|
|May 19, 2013||Newcastle 0 - Arsenal 1||EPL|
|May 14, 2013||Arsenal 4 - Wigan Athletic 1||EPL|
|May 4, 2013||QPR 0 - Arsenal 1||EPL|
|Apr 28, 2013||Arsenal 1 - Man Utd. 1||EPL|
|Apr 20, 2013||Fulham 0 - Arsenal 1||EPL|
|Returns:||Arsenal £60.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £37.50||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Chelsea £85.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
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.
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.
Chelsea are flying at the moment, and with Arsenal's recent blip in form it could be an away win this weekend.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed