Arsenal are without a win in their last four competitive matches, with two draws and a pair of defeats
As a result of their loss in midweek away to Napoli, they are pitted against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich in the Champions League knockout stages. On the domestic front things could also take a terrible turn before Christmas, with Arsenal able to drop to fourth in the table if results go against them next week.
Arsenal have had a patchy run of form recently and their 6-3 thrashing at the Etihad has made them lose momentum as well as some confidence.
The match against Chelsea at the Emirates is crucial to the club, since Manchester City faces a struggling Fulham; while Liverpool host Cardiff in the same weekend. A loss could see them level on points with Manchester City but out of the top four due to an inferior goal difference.
Jose Mourinho on the other hand has downplayed the importance of the game, saying that beating Arsenal is, "not crucial".
He told Sky Sports News: "I don’t think in this league it will become a crucial game, if we leave Arsenal with five points difference or top of the league."
"I don’t think it will make a big difference in terms of what is going to happen in the future because the league [this season] is like this."
The same cannot be said by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who saw a dejected team leaving the Etihad last Saturday.
With Per Mertesacker giving a talk to Mesut Ozil for not thanking the fans there were plenty of negatives, with Wenger also waiting to see if Jack Wilshere will face action over an alleged middle-fingered gesture towards City fans.
Arsenal lacked the flair and creativity that has aided them up until their clash against City.
City kept pushing for goals right up to the last minute of play in an open game. Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Negredo and Pablo Zabeleta to name a few drove the team forward. A sense of hunger could be seen in them, something that was lacking in the away team.
Arsneal have to win at home, with the world-class talent at their disposal they must step up to the plate. The Premier League gets tougher as games progress, something Wenger will be all too aware of as he looks to instil confidence and urgency in his squad.
If Chelsea defeat Arsenal, all of a sudden a barrage of questions will be directed towards Wenger and his men. The crowd would start to grow impatient and demand January signings to keep their title tilt on track.
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