Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes Arsenal cannot afford to lose against Chelsea in this weekend’s clash, as the Londoners need to maintain their momentum for the remaining games, with Manchester United and Manchester City looking to end the season strongly to finish second in the table, reports Sky Sports.
With Arsenal having the chance for a high Premier League finish this season, it will mean they avoid having to play in Champions League qualifiers early into the following season. Ray Parlour believes this could make a big different on how they start the campaign, as their pre-season won’t be disrupted.
“If they can turn up, start on the front foot, put pressure on Chelsea, then they could cause a few problems for Chelsea’s defence. It’s a game that Arsenal have to go and win. It’s so important for clubs to come second. Missing out on that European qualification for the Champions League, you have to go back early, disrupting all your pre-season. So it’s a big, big game for Arsenal,” he said.
They face Premier League leaders Chelsea this weekend, with the Blues having already beaten the Gunners earlier in the campaign, and manager Jose Mourinho having never lost to Arsene Wenger. Arsenal have home advantage, and have only been beaten once at the emirates in the league this season, so they will certainly fancy their chances of a result.
But Chelsea under Mourinho are the masters of grinding out results in difficult away games, and the Blues don’t need to play for the win. They are likely to adopt a similar tactic as they did in their 1-0 win against Manchester United, where they afford a lot of possession, with more emphasis on their defensive position.
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