Van Persie admits Arsenal must beat Chelsea to maintain Champions League hope

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has said the Gunners have to beat Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday in order to keep alive their push to finish third and qualify for next season’s Champions League, the Sun has reported.

Van Persie will lead out Arsenal against Roberto Di Matteo’s side at lunchtime on Saturday in the Emirates Stadium fixture, and the home side go into the match with a five point advantage over fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and fifth-placed Newcastle United, who are level on points, having played a game more. Chelsea are in sixth, seven points adrift of Arsenal but the gap could be reduced to four if the Blues overturn Arsenal.

We have worked hard to get back into the Champions League qualifying places – and we must stay there,” van Persie wrote in his column in the Sun, adding: “I am sure it’s not going to be an easy game for us. Chelsea are also going to give it their all.

Arsenal go into the match on the back of a home defeat to Wigan Athletic, only the fifth time all season Arsene Wenger’s side have not collected all three points on their own turf.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Chelsea

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