Arsenal must handle title business vs. Chelsea

Hostilities are renewed between Arsenal and Chelsea as both sides have opposite reasons for needing three points midweek.
Chelsea FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates as Mikel Arteta's side look to maintain their title rage.

The next step in Arsenal's hunt for Premier League glory is the latest installment of its rivalry with Chelsea. After bouncing back from their Champions League exit with a 2-0 win over Wolves, Arsenal will look to keep the foot on the gas as the title run-in heats up.

In the pair's earlier meeting at Stamford Bridge this season, a 2-2 draw saw honors even after Chelsea had a 2-0 lead. However, two last goals from Declan Rice (77') and Leandro Trossard (84') meant the Gunners grabbed their share of the spoils.

But now, a draw doesn't do Arsenal any good.

With Liverpool level on points and Manchester City just one point behind Arsenal with a game in hand, there is no margin for error against Chelsea. The Blues are unbeaten in their last five league outings, while the Gunners have won three and lost and drawn once.

Arteta will know that, given Liverpool's fixture against Everton and City facing a trip to Brighton after the Gunners fixture against Chelsea, securing three points will heap the pressure on both to come away with positive results in tough atmospheres.

If the Gunners are to slay Chelsea, then effieciency in front of goal will need to be better at the Emirates. Against Wolves, Arsenal had 24 shots on goal, but only nine were on target and only two were converted.

Given the stage of the season we are in, and what is at stake, when chances come against a side like Chelsea, they must be taken. Mauricio Pochettino's side currently sit ninth and have nothing to play for but pride, so they will ideally look to be Arsenal's spoilers at the Emirates.

It has been a long and grueling season, but now it the time to stand up and be counted. The league is all Arsenal have to play for, so expect Arteta's side to give it everything.

Last season, Arsenal ended the year with a whimper after being in such a commanding position, and with signs of that happening again slowly creeping in, a win over Chelsea would be huge.

The Gunners know what is at stake, now with a raucous Emirates crowd behind them, need to go out and handle business.