Premier League

Arsenal-Chelsea Preview

Thomas Tuchel has full sympathy for Mikel Arteta, as Chelsea prepare to host Arsenal in a clash which could be crucial for the European hopes of both clubs.

Chelsea seem well set to qualify for the Champions League, either through the league or by winning this season's competition when they take on Manchester City in the final on May 29.

The Blues are also in the FA Cup final, which they play this coming weekend. They were beaten by Arsenal in last season's showpiece at Wembley.

Things could not be more different for the Gunners, with Arteta's team having slumped out of the Europa League in the semi-finals, and needing a win to keep their feint chances of European qualification alive.

Arsenal lifted some of the gloom with a win over West Brom on Sunday, but Tuchel understands the pressure Arteta is under.

"I know what I go through when we don't win: it's the most horrible situation in the whole world, no matter if you coach in the academy or professional football," he said.

"That doesn't change during the week and it's the same for everybody. Nothing surprises me about this league, you can catch a streak or get caught in any match.

"That is what we signed up for: the toughest competition in Europe. Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and we will prepare for our best level."

Arteta, meanwhile, reiterated that Arsenal are in need of some major moves in the transfer window.

"We are looking to improve and we're looking to be much closer (than) where we are at the moment. I know there are certain things we have to improve," he said.

"There's a lot of things that have to be done, and they have (been) done. A lot of changes to make and a lot of them have been made. Now, it's time to evolve."

Chelsea - Tammy Abraham

It has been a tough ask for Tammy Abraham to force his way into Tuchel's side, but given the FA Cup final is on the horizon, the England forward may well get a chance on Wednesday. He has scored two goals across his three Premier League appearances against Arsenal.

Arsenal - Willian

Willian was a primary target for Arsenal, but the free agent - signed from Chelsea - has somewhat failed to live up to expectations. However, he scored his first Gunners goal last time out, and will be determined to turn in a top quality display against his former club.

- Arsenal have won their last two meetings with Chelsea in all competitions, last beating the Blues in three consecutive games between March 2003 and February 2004 (four in a row).

- On the day of this game, Arteta will be 39 years and 47 days old - should Arsenal win, he will be the youngest manager to complete a top-flight double over Chelsea since Trevor Francis in the 1991-92 season with Sheffield Wednesday, aged 37.

- Chelsea's last eight Premier League defeats against Arsenal have been with a different manager in the dugout - Claudio Ranieri, Avram Grant, Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard.

- Chelsea have won more points in Premier League London derby games this season than any other side (22 - W7 D1 L1). Victory here would equal the record for most points won in such games in a single Premier League campaign, with Arsenal in 2013-14, and Chelsea in 2005-06 & 2014-15 winning 25 points.

- Arsenal have never lost a Premier League match against Chelsea when facing them in a midweek tie (Tuesday or Wednesday), though six of those games have ended level (W2). The Gunners' four such visits to Stamford Bridge have all ended in a draw (0-0 September 1998, 2-2 September 2000, 0-0 April 2005, 2-2 January 2020).

Updated May 11, 2021

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