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"Sweet f***ing Jesus have mercy on our souls!" - Fans react angrily as Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta names bold lineup for Chelsea clash

Arsenal fans left fuming by starting XI against Chelsea
Arsenal fans left fuming by starting XI against Chelsea
Jack Spedding

Arsenal travel to Chelsea on Wednesday for a crucial Premier League clash, as the Gunners aim to keep their top-four hopes alive.

Mikel Arteta's side are hoping to bounce back from three consecutive top-flight defeats. However, they will only go level on points with their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur with a win at Stamford Bridge. The Lilywhites are currently fourth and boast a superior goal difference to their north London rivals.

Following the announcement of the two starting lineups, it's fair to say Arsenal fans aren't particularly impressed with the players they have.

🚨 TEAM NEWS 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Nketiah leads the line🇪🇬 Elneny joins the midfield🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Holding comes into the back-line🙌 COME ON ARSENAL#CHEARS https://t.co/IOfpc8Cx1q

The Gunners have a number of injury problems, with first-team regulars such as Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Alexandre Lacazette all missing.

That means fringe players like Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding will come in. Eddie Nketiah, who hasn't scored a single league goal this season, is leading the line.

Supporters have been quick to point out online that Arteta's makeshift team really highlights how thin their squad is. They took to Twitter to express their lack of confidence ahead of tonight's derby in the capital.

Here are some of the more pessimistic views from the Emirates faithful:

@Arsenal Goodness gracious me. Summer transfer window can’t come quick enough. Squad depth is NEEDED
@Arsenal Sweet fucking Jesus have mercy on our souls.
@Arsenal Yeah I’ll save myself the embarrassment of watching. See you all Saturday
@Arsenal That's definitely ballsy. Can't wait to watch it now
@Arsenal Doesn’t look good
@Arsenal Wow thanks Arteta and Edu for trimming the wage bill what a squad!
@Arsenal oh god, hope we dont get battered
@Arsenal No Tomiyasu for the 1000th match in a row https://t.co/VHcroU1HOc
@Arsenal This is feeling like the start of the season again

Arsenal desperate to stop their rot against Chelsea

By contrast, the Blues are aiming for their fourth consecutive victory, and will move eight points clear of fourth with a victory.

The Gunners lost the reverse fixture 2-0 in August. First-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James secured a comfortable victory for Thomas Tuchel's men at the Emirates Stadium.

However, tonight's visitors will take comfort in the fact that their recent record against Chelsea is pretty decent. The defeat earlier in the campaign was the Gunners' first against their London rivals in five games.

From being red-hot favorites for a top-four finish, the Gunners are now outsiders to claim the league's final Champions League spot. This comes following a disastrous fortnight in which they lost to mid-table teams Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton.

6 - Arsenal have named six English players in their starting XI against Chelsea; their most in a Premier League match since September 2001 v Fulham (6 - Seaman, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Parlour, Jeffers). Throwback.

Edited by Puranjay Dixit

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