The London rivals meet at Stamford Bridge (12:30pm) with nine points separating them.
Arsenal go into the match having suffered a 2-1 loss to Watford on Tuesday night.
Chelsea train ahead of Arsenal showdown
Fri, February 3, 2017
Express Sport brings you all the best snaps as Chelsea train ahead of their clash with Arsenal tomorrow (12.30pm)
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Chelsea have been training hard ahead of their clash with Arsenal
But Thompson believes Arsene Wenger's men will be better, and tipped Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to impress.
He told Sky Sports: "People will just think Arsenal will play like they did against Watford and they'll get battered, but football isn't like that.
Phil Thompson is expecting a big performance from Mesut Ozil
"They dropped points on Tuesday because they were complacent and they'll be a lot better on Saturday.
"Mesut Ozil will turn up and Alexis Sanchez will be out to prove he's the man."
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Eden Hazard has had an impressive season for Chelsea
Thompson also feel Eden Hazard will be a key player if Gabriel starts at right-back instead of Hector Bellerin.
He added: "Hazard will be the key man if Gabriel plays at right-back because he was exceptionally poor the other day, but I would assume Hector Bellerin will come back in. Wenger got to half-time and knew he had a problem and that's what concerns me, that he thinks Gabriel is a better defender.
"Hazard's last few games haven't been as good but the big matches, and this is a massive one, bring out the best in top players. Hazard wasn't great against Liverpool but he'll be up for it at home."