Chelsea will have the opportunity to move one step closer towards securing Champions League football as they take on Arsenal on Wednesday. The Blues are coming on the back of a 2-1 win over Manchester City on the weekend, and another three points could definitely put them on the driver’s seat for a top-four finish in the league this season.
Arsenal, in contrast, cannot get into the top four mathematically but they have an outside chance of fighting the newly introduced UEFA Conference League position, especially after securing two back to back victories over Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion. For Mikel Arteta, ending the season on a positive note could be crucial ahead of a busy summer.
Chelsea Vs Arsenal Tactical Preview
Thomas Tuchel has no reason to drift away from tried and tested 3-4-2-1 setup, with the back-three giving his side the balance, as well as more assurance in possession. Their primary objective will be to dominate the possession, while the attackers might want to switch flanks at regular intervals – making it difficult for the Arsenal to keep track in their highly disciplined defensive formation.
Mikel Arteta would usually go for a generic 4-2-3-1, but with Kieran Tierney back into the side, he will have the luxury to switch to a back-three even during the game. For Arsenal, mirroring Chelsea’s 3-4-2-1 could be essential if they are to prevent the opposition from dominating this affair.
Chelsea have no such injury related absentees heading into this game, although Mateo Kovacic is a bit of doubt due to his hamstring problems. He does, however, have an outside chance of returning to action against Arsenal this midweek. Thiago Silva, meanwhile, is hoping to make his return to the starting eleven after failing to make the squad against Man City.
Predicted Lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Ziyech, Mount; Havertz
Arsenal are missing David Luiz through injury, with the Brazilian unlikely to play for the club ever again. Granit Xhaka, too, remains a doubt after picking up a late injury against Villarreal. It remains unlikely that the Swiss international will return here, but Arteta is certainly expected to ring in the changes despite the win over West Brom on the weekend.
Predicted Lineup: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Ceballos; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang
Kai Havertz is slowly starting to find his feet in the Premier League after a miserable start to his Chelsea career under Frank Lampard. Although the German was not involved against Man City, he has performed really well in the league and in Europe – making him the one to watch out for, as the youngster looks to spearhead the Chelsea attack, alongside Mount and Ziyech.
For Arsenal, the onus will be on Thomas Partey to offer a sense of solidity in the middle of the park. It is safe to say that the Ghanaian international has not been able to live up to the price tag this season, but a strong performance against the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho could go a long way in boosting his confidence.