Premier League: Tuchel Can Take Top-Four Step

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Chelsea may have other things to think about with two finals before the end of the month but will Arsenal be able to take advantage?

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea meet Arsenal on Wednesday

Chelsea have recently been doing their impression of being the best team in Europe, having beaten Manchester City, not once but twice, while booking their place in the Champions League final at the expense of Real Madrid

Neither of those victories over the newly-crowned Premier League champions came on the back of home comforts, with the first success at Wembley last month, of course, securing their place in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

That may yet prove a distraction for the Blues going into Wednesday night’s clash with Arsenal but while they may have impressed – essentially since Thomas Tuchel took charge in January – there is still work to be done to secure a top-four finish, a back-up plan should they not complete a hat-trick against Pep Guardiola’s side at the end of the month.

Chelsea’s victory at the Etihad at the weekend has given them a six-point cushion over West Ham in fifth with three games to go, although the bigger danger for the top-four incumbents could be Liverpool, who are a point further behind the Hammers but have a game in hand on all sides above them.

Blues Ready to Prove Their Point

Given the way Tuchel has set about his business since replacing Frank Lampard in the dugout, Chelsea are unlikely to be taking their collective foot off the gas until the job is done, regardless of what may be on the horizon.

That is not to say that there won’t be changes in the Blues’ ranks as Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen have already been confirmed as absentees, while Thiago Silva is unlikely to be risked ahead of the Wembley showpiece.

And given the workload, Tuchel may well opt to rotate his troops to keep them fresh for Saturday – but does that offer Arsenal a chance on Wednesday night?

Only one team in the Premier League is on a better winning streak than the Gunners, but the fact that the run is only two victories – against West Brom and Newcastle – says more about the unpredictable nature of this season’s campaign. Meanwhile, the manner of their semi-final defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League is more than just deflating for Arsenal, with the pressure ramping up on Mikel Arteta, amongst others.

Arsenal have won the last two matches between these two, with August’s FA Cup final success suggesting the future was perhaps bright at the Emirates, while the 3-1 victory in the reverse fixture earlier this season was seemingly another false dawn.

More Bridge Blues for Deflated Gunners

Those two previous victories over Chelsea both came against Lampard and the Blues have proven they are a different beast under Tuchel, so the Gunners have their work cut out, particularly as they have struggled at the Bridge, last winning there in 2011.

There is certainly a hint of value for the away success at 18/5 when thinking of a “big six” team but Arteta’s side are far from that in terms of matters on the pitch and there is enough to like about Chelsea to take the 5/6 for a home win, with the draw at 13/5.

Tuchel has successfully rotated his side before, having suffered just two defeats as Chelsea boss, while those coming in will be desperate to stake a claim for a final place, in the FA Cup or Champions League.

Arsenal are also contending with “some injuries”, although only David Luiz has been ruled out for definite, and the one team with a better current winning streak? Chelsea, who have won their last three.

The former PSG boss has made the Blues a much tougher nut to crack so for those seeking a greater return, a home win with under 2.5 goals is worthy of consideration at 29/10.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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