LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal gesticulates during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Arsenal have confirmed that they will be missing at least five players due to injury in their upcoming game against Chelsea tomorrow night. Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers are out with long-term injuries while Reiss Nelson and Sead Kolasinac have also been ruled out after missing the last game. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meanwhile, is suspended as he continues his three-game suspension.

This could serve as a massive blow for Mikel Arteta, who will keen on guiding his team back to winning momentum following a run of two back to back draws with Crystal Palace and Sheffield United. In this article, we will discuss two steps he must take to ensure a victory against Chelsea this midweek, despite having five key players injured.

Employ a back-three

With both Tierney and Kolasinac ruled out, Arteta will be forced to start with Bukayo Saka at left-back. However, the youngster won’t have the privilege of having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang providing additional defensive cover on the far side. And that’s where Arsenal could look to come up with a three at the back defensive setup, with Saka operating as a left wing-back.

It would allow the young winger to play his natural offensive game, providing support to the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette. But more importantly, he will always have someone like David Luiz to provide the defensive cover in case he leaves gaps in behind.

The three at the back setup will also suit Hector Bellerin, who is expected to make his much-awaited return from injury. The Spaniard loves to go forward, and the presence of Sokratic could provide him with more freedom going forward.

A deep defensive block

Chelsea are particularly known for their pace going forward. The Blues boast the likes of Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, all of whom are capable of providing a genuine threat on the counter. And with players like Jorginho and N’Golo Kante playing in midfield, it’s expected that they would be able to create a lot of turnovers in midfield.

With that in mind, it would perhaps be wiser for Arteta to deploy a deep defensive block. The back three of Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi could stay deep in their lines, inviting the Chelsea players to attack. This should prevent the Blues from making use of the pace of their attackers.

The presence of an additional midfielder should compensate, as far as the build-up play is concerned, thus helping Arsenal become more cohesive and act as a more compact unit.

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.