Arsenal v Chelsea: Match Preview

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Arsenal v Chelsea; Premier League; Emirates Stadium; Saturday 21 April 2012, 12:45 KO

Team News

Arsenal have been boosted by the return of midfield duo Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin, who have both recovered from respective hamstring injuries.

Laurent Koscielny is also available following a two-game suspension, but on-loan midfielder Yossi Benayoun is ineligible against his parent club.

Mikel Arteta will not recover from the ankle injury sustained against Wigan in time to feature again this season, and long-term absentees Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Per Mertesacker (ankle) remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will be without Didier Drogba after the 34-year-old picked up a knee injury in the Champions League clash against Barcelona, leaving Fernando Torres in line for a recall.

David Luiz is also sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Branislav Ivanovic serves the second game of his three-match ban.

Ramires targets Arsenal victory

Chelsea's box-to-box midfielder Ramires is revelling in the increased demands at this stage of the campaign, and cannot wait for the next game to come around when the Blues face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.

The 25-year-old Brazilian was instrumental in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Barcelona, and will be looking to summon that extra energy needed to continue the club's promising run of form against the Gunners.

"Everybody is finding a bit more of themselves and giving a little bit more to succeed," Ramires told Chelsea's official website. "The team has to be congratulated and I am sure we will get through this period.

"It's true, the last few weeks have been very intense but we have the desire, the right preparation, the right rest time, and this is what we need at this point in the season. We are getting through, and we will get through with our desire and determination."

He added: "We are feeling very confident. Chelsea is a very big club and we have great players here that every other club in the world would like to have, it is a privilege to look at our team, we have regained our confidence and now we have to just carry on with the momentum we have, picking up results."

Under the guidance of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea have improved considerably in recent weeks, but still remain seven points and three places behind Arsenal in the Premier League table.

However, victory this weekend will go some way to closing the gap, and moving the club one step closer to Champions League qualification via a top four finish.

"I wouldn't say we owe Arsenal, but our aim has to be to win the game," Ramires added. "It was bad to lose 5-3 at home and we need to win this one, not because of that but because we need three points in the Premier League.

"The defeat at home stuck in our throat, but we just need to win this game for our position. We have to do well in all competitions.

"We have gone through our bad phase and it motivates us to improve our position in the league now. The motivations for each competition are different, but it doesn't matter as long as we are motivated for every single game, they are all so important."

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