If we are to do the seemingly impossible, and claw back the ten points that currently separate us from Premier League leaders Chelsea, then a victory on Sunday is a must. No excuses.
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The Blues proved their ability to shut out form teams last time out, when they made a rejuvenated Manchester United side look like a team of style, but without much substance in front of goal. We will have to be aware that Jose Mourinho will not send his men to the Emirates to play much.
However, we have our own experience of using a top team’s strengths to our advantage this season. Our performance at the Etihad against Manchester City in January, as well as our current eight-match winning run, has to act as proof that any team can be overcome, no matter how strong they look.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has only one or two injury concerns. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a definite absentee, whilst Per Mertesacker is a doubt after sustaining an injury in the FA Cup semi-final against Reading.
Here is how we expect the Gunners to line up for this potentially season-defining match:
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GK- David Ospina
The Colombian has been the much more reliable option between the sticks – Wojciech Szczesny’s mistake against Reading proves that. He may not have to do much, as Chelsea pride themselves it seems, on converting their handful of chances. As long as he remains alert throughout the game, he’s got an excellent chance of keeping a clean sheet.
RB- Hector Bellerin
With Eden Hazard potentially peeling off down the left, Bellerin has possibly got the toughest job in English football this Sunday. But his pace will help to restrict the Belgian’s impact on the game.
CB- Laurent Koscielny
The man who has been our best defender this season is going to have to play out of his skin once again. With Chelsea’s attacking threat stretching all the way back to their holding midfielders, communication and awareness will be the key.
CB- Gabriel Paulista
Gabriel Paulista is likely to be called upon should Mertesacker not be able to prove his fitness in time. He did a good job against Reading in the cup, so hopefully, he is one for the big occasion.
LB- Nacho Monreal
The left-back played no part in the victory at Wembley, but has been an important member of the side currently enjoying an excellent winning run in the Premier League, and should therefore come back into the team.