The English Premiership London Derby clash, between Arsenal and Chelsea kicks-off Super Saturday, which ends with the El Clasico between Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Gunners play host to their arch-rivals in what should have been a match of lesser magnitude had the hosts not stumbled badly against relegation-threatened Wigan on Monday night. That has placed added pressure on Arsene Wenger’s men who look to consolidate third position on the table and are currently seven points clear of the visitors but have played an extra match.
The Gunners had won nine of their last 10 league games and could have tightened their grip on third place with another victory. However, quick- fire goals from Franco Di Santo and Jordo Gomez helped earn Wigan a vital 2-1 win. Thomas Vermaelen reduced the deficit with a header after 21 minutes, but the second-half onslaught from shell-shocked Arsenal never materialized. Some bad news has hit the Emirates with Mikel Arteta being ruled out of Saturday’s clash after suffering an ankle injury against The Latics. Arsene Wenger has stated that he could likely be out for the remainder of the season. The inexperienced Aaron Ramsey will be his natural replacement but it will be tough for the young Welshman to fill the gap left by one of Arsenal’s most consistent players this season. PFA Player of the Year frontrunner Robin van Persie will be looking to once again damage Chelsea after scoring a hat-trick in the first round 5-3 victory.
Chelsea reached the FA Cup final for the 11th time with a comprehensive, but controversial, 5-1 thrashing of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last Sunday. Goals by Didier Drogba and Juan Mata either side of half-time put Chelsea in command before Gareth Bale replied for Spurs but Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda struck again for the Blues, who will meet Liverpool in the final next month. Mata’s goal in the 49th minute proved a major turning point as his shot appeared to have been blocked from crossing the line, only for referee Martin Atkinson to award the goal. Roberto Di Matteo, who took over from Andre Villas-Boas in March, has helped inspire Chelsea’s revival, with the Italian overseeing nine wins, two draws and just one loss in his time in charge. They now lie in 6th place, two points behind Tottenham and surprise package Newcastle for a Champions League spot. Attacker Juan Mata will play a key role for Chelsea, with the Spaniard’s ability to support striker Didier Drogba, as well as the Chelsea midfield, crucial. Didier Drogba was outstanding against Tottenham and expects to have recovered from a slight hamstring injury while Frank Lampard, who has been dropped from some key games this season, has made it clear that he is physically ready to play. Chelsea could have problems in defence this weekend with David Luiz