There is very little separating Arsenal and Chelsea, there was just a couple of points between the pair in the Premier League and both teams have one win apiece from the two league games they played against each other.
Both teams will be missing key players, we will not have Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin or Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chelsea will be without Antonio Rüdiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Both clubs have had distractions, Chelsea over the futures of manager Maurizio Sarri and Eden Hazard and of course, the Mkhitaryan situation for us and the huge disappointment of missing out on a top-four finish domestically.
So, basically an even game, however, there are ways that Arsenal can give themselves an advantage with a common sense approach to the game.
Nullify Eden Hazard
Totally obvious but has to be said. Hazard can destroy us if we give him the space and if necessary we will have to double mark him, for starters we will need the probably Lucas Torreira to get to him before he gets close to our box and then the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sokratis have to step up as well. If we do not stop Hazard to some extent we will lose.
Pressure Chelsea centre backs
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have to exert pressure at every opportunity on David Luiz and Andreas Christensen, they are vulnerable under pressure, especially Luiz, neither is that fast and with Chelsea determined to play out of defence then our forwards have a great opportunity to close down the pair and force errors.
Force the ball out wide
This is where the game could easily be won, Chelsea are not that potent from the flanks, for some reason Sarri has this thing about pushing Kante out towards the flanks and keeping Jorghino in the centre, that works for us and the more Kante has to go past Saed Kolasinac the better and to some degree Matteo Kovacic on the other side against Maitland-Niles. The last thing Chelsea need is for either Kante or Kovacic to lose the ball to our wing backs, they have the potential to hurt the Blues significantly in that scenario.
Man mark Olivier Giroud
I am fairly certain that Chelsea will go with Giroud up front instead of Gonzalo Higuain and we know him well enough to know the sort of damage he can do, he is effective at holding the ball up which would bring Hazard and Pedro into the reckoning and of course, he can be deadly in front of the goal and so our defenders must get really tight on him, he is not blessed with pace and so that is not too much of a worry but he cannot be given freedom to roam in the area of lay the ball off for his teammates coming in.
Attack from word go
That worked for us at the Emirates and they did not like it, we cannot start the game nervously, we must seize the initiative, get possession as soon as possible and fly at them. Playing the ball around, maintaining possession and building up slowly is simply not the way to go, it can be later in the game when control is important but for the first 10-15 minutes we have to grab the momentum and own it, when we play that way we tend to win, when we play cautiously passing the ball left to right we invite the opponents on to us. Just think back to how we started against the Blues at the Emirates and you will understand exactly what I am saying.