The Gunners have seen their lead at the top of the table cut to two points after being held to a draw by Everton and then being beaten 6-3 by free-scoring Manchester City.
A defeat against Chelsea at the Emirates would see the Blues leapfrog Arsene Wenger's side and their cause will be helped with Jack Wilshere set to miss out for the hosts after his Football Association charge for a gesture towards Manchester City fans.
But Chelsea face their rivals while short of their best form, as shown in recent defeats to Stoke in the Premier League and Sunderland in the Capital One Cup.
And manager Jose Mourinho suggested in the wake of the latter defeat that he may need to tighten up his side's approach, even if it is something he would not necessarily be keen on doing.
He said: "If I want to win 1-0, I think I can. One of the easiest things in football is to win 1-0.
''It's not so difficult. You structure your team from the back, you organise your team from the defensive idea, you don't give freedom to your players to express themselves.
''The dynamic of the team is defensive and what you do is you recover the ball and try to punish the opponent on the counter-attack.
''To win 1-0 is not the most difficult thing in football.''
He added: ''I don't want to because we are going in a direction which is the right direction in terms of the quality of football we want to play, and it's quite frustrating that you have to change that and go one step back and go in another direction just because you want better results."
Liverpool can go top of the table for at least a couple of days if they beat troubled Cardiff at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers' Reds are flying high after their 5-0 hammering of Tottenham, while the Welsh club have been rocked by the latest disagreement between manager Malky Mackay and owner Vincent Tan, this time over January transfer plans.
Rodgers worked with Mackay at Watford and admits he has been "astonished" by events at the Bluebirds.
''I find it incredible all the talk about Malky, who I know well from working with him at Watford,'' said the former Swansea boss.
''I find it astonishing what he has had to go through.
''This is a guy who walked into Cardiff and transformed the mentality of the club."
Basement side Sunderland, meanwhile, will look to build on their shock cup win over Chelsea when they host Norwich at the Stadium of Light, while fellow strugglers Fulham face the daunting task of hosting in-form Manchester City.
Crystal Palace, recently resurgent under Tony Pulis, will look to climb out of the relegation zone but will face a stiff test from a Newcastle side flying high in the top six.
Manchester United boss David Moyes will look to build on a run of three-straight wins in all competitions when the Red Devils host lowly West Ham.
Keith Downing will be in interim charge of West Brom as the Baggies host Hull, while Tim Sherwood will hope to still be in charge of Tottenham when they travel to Southampton on Sunday.
The weekend's other game sees Roberto Martinez take his in-form Everton side back to south Wales to face his former club Swansea.