Arsenal Per Mertesacker United
Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker limped off against Reading in the FA Cup Getty Images

Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Per Mertesacker for the Chelsea game after the defender limped off with an ankle injury against Reading in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, according to the Telegraph.

The Gunners have Gabriel as a direct replacement for the German but his inexperience and inability to speak English may pose a problem when faced against players of the calibre of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.

This is a must win game for the north London club. A loss will close any hope they previously had of winning the title.

Arsenal will keep monitoring Mertesacker on a daily basis but fear that the German will fail to recover in time for the game. However, Mathieu Debuchy, who was suffering from cramps is expected to be fine and is likely to start ahead of Hector Bellerin, who has a long standing ankle problem.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta are two other injury doubts for the game, while Jack Wilshere is expected to make the bench after coming into the matchday squad against Reading last weekend.

It will be a brilliant setting for Arsene Wenger to break his jinx against Jose Mourinho, having failed to beat the Portuguese manager in any of his previous attempts with Arsenal.

A win here, though it may not be sufficient to win the title, will set a marker for the next season where they can learn from their mistakes in the ensuing campaign and try to forge a title winning run through the entirety of the season.

The Gunners have been in brilliant form since the turn of the year, losing only thrice in all competitions, to Southampton, Tottenham and Monaco, while winning the rest. They are on an eight-match winning run in the league and have the opportunity to make it nine against Chelsea, equalling their record in the invincible season.

Meanwhile, the Blues are currently 10 points ahead and need to win their next two games to win the league for the fifth time in their history.