Chelsea come to The Emirates with the battle for 4th spot very much up for grabs, but only if Arsenal get their act together.
Our last match saw West Ham defeat us with a mixture of stubborn defence and winning the midfield battle, aided by our blunt nature in attack.
The same again will see the Blues earn the points, and the crisis deepen at our club.
The loss to West Ham led to much scrutiny centred on our club, its operations and a certain German in our team. With Sven Mislintat on his way out, Aaron Ramsey on his way to Juventus on a free transfer and some decisions from Unai Emery raising some points of consternation, we have a dark cloud hanging over us.
So the last thing we need is a match that could define our season. Chelsea have been suffering patchy form too, and scoring goals seem to be an issue for the Blues, but rest assured, with our defence still lacking a definite starting lineup and struggling to adapt to new tactics - they will have chances.
Normally, we can combat the amount of chances we give away by creating more for ourselves - but our last game showed we can’t always rely on us being creative, especially if Mesut Ozil continues to be out of the side.
Will he make the lineup?
Mesut Ozil has confirmed on his social media that he is stronger and has enjoyed a full week of training, so theoretically, there is nothing stopping Emery picking him - other than preference.
In terms of the rest of the lineup, will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang line up with Alexandre Lacazette? Or will Emery opt for caution from the start, and go with Alex Iwobi and Ramsey? Perhaps with Henrikh Mkhitaryan injured, Emery will see that the strongest lineup he can field contains both of our star strikers.
In midfield, Lucas Torreira didn’t start the loss to West Ham - perhaps with a view to resting him for the next two fixtures, which are Chelsea and Utd in the FA Cup? Either way, the Uruguayan simply must start this game.
Some fans were of the opinion that Guendouzi struggled against the Hammers, but whenever the young Frenchman picked up the ball, he got the ball moving forward, and it is this impetus that may see him start again, but will it be at the expense of Xhaka - who has formed a formidable partnership with Torreira?
In defence, Sokratis will likely start, but it is his partner who is up for debate. Will Captain Koscielny get the nod ahead of the returning Shkodran Mustafi?
Some good news though, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal are both fit now, and should come back into the lineup, so we should have some threat out wide.
How This Could Go
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has formed a decent defence, and it is this that has seen them earn decent results. However, in attack, they are toothless in comparison to their top4 rivals. This sees them scouring the transfer window for a striker, but it won’t be in time to alter their lineup for this game.
That means we could see former Gunner Olivier Giroud play against us. The Frenchman is well liked by our set of fans, and has already said he won’t celebrate should he score against us. With the former player rule often coming back to haunt us, let’s hope Giroud doesn’t get to make that decision.
If we stop Eden Hazard we have every chance in this game. The Belgian is the key man for Chelsea and everything runs through him, so we need the likes of Torreira and Sokratis keeping a beady eye on his movement.
We also need to harness some inspiration up top. We have excellent strikers, but what good are they if we don’t supply them? Aubameyang had no joy whatsoever and barely touched the ball versus West Ham - we need Ozil to start and have one of his good games if we are to win.
Player to Watch
Of course Eden Hazard will be of prime focus for us, and the match will hinge on his ability to wreak havoc, but the Blues will also have another who could hurt us.
Hudson-Odoi is desperately wanted by Bayern Munich for good reason, and boss Sarri is now keen to give him the starts he craves to keep him at Stamford Bridge. We played Chelsea in pre-season, and it was Hudson-Odoi who destroyed us, and his ability to go past a player could rip us apart. Our full-backs need to be on high alert.