Having just battled for 90 grueling minutes to give themselves a chance of making this year's Champions League final, less than 72 hours later Chelsea will have to put in a similar performance to give the club a chance of qualifying for next year's competition.

There is no time for rest or reflection on gaining a 1-0 lead over Barca in their semi-final on Wednesday, as Chelsea face what is essentially a must-win game against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.

Currently seven points behind the third-place Gunners, with a game-in hand, and two points between Tottenham and Newcastle in fifth and sixth, respectively, Chelsea have little room for error with just five games of their season remaining.

It's very challenging, but exciting as well. If we had been told six weeks ago that we'd be in this position, we would have been happy, but it's very intense period with a lot of games, Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo said, according to the official Chelsea website.

'It's important for the club to be in the Champions League next season, we've had a difficult time in the Premier League, we're trying our best to make up points and we have, but there's not much time, we have to try our best and pick up as many points as possible, he continued.

Although the Blues were fortunate for several Barcelona missed chances at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's defensive performance was a far cry from the one on show against Arsenal last October. On that occasion a series of defensive mishaps helped Arsenal to a deflating 5-3 victory.

The Gunners go into Saturday's return fixture in much better spirits having resurrected their season following an awful start to the campaign.

Arsene Wenger's side looked flat in their 2-1 defeat at home to Wigan last time out, though, and will be looking for a significantly improved performance to ensure Champions League qualification does not slip through their fingers.

Without a goal from open play for over a month, Robin van Persie will be looking for a return to his previous blistering goal scoring form. The Dutchman has hit the back of the net 33 times this season and was named in the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year Award this week.

And Van Persie is confident the team can return to form in what is a vital match.

We have to win, it's as simple as that, and I can promise you that we will go for it, he said, according to the official Arsenal website. We've proved that we can perform in the big games against top teams, and it's up to us to show it again.

Everybody is looking forward to it, and to bouncing back from the Wigan result because we need to put that right. We have everything that it takes to put in another very good performance.

Team News: Di Matteo has confirmed that both David Luiz and Didier Drogba will miss the match through injury. The Ivorian striker suffered a knee problem against Barcelona and will be assessed over the coming days with the hope of getting him fit for the second-leg on Tuesday.

Chelsea will also be without Branislav Ivanovic, who is still suspended.

Mikel Arteta will be an absentee for Arsenal, with the midfielder set to miss the remaining weeks of the season with an ankle injury suffered against Wigan. There is better news in that Abou Diaby is available for selection after his latest injury, as is fellow-midfielder Francis Coquelin.

Probable Lineups:

Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Essien, Meireles; Kalou, Mata, Torres

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos; Song, Ramsey, Rosicky; Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie

Prediction: Having played semi-finals in the FA Cup and Champions League in the past week and with a the return against Barcelona to come on Tuesday, the run of games is sure to take its toll in the legs and minds of Chelsea's players.

Arsenal will be desperate to rebound from the defeat to Wigan and know that a win will all but ensure Champions League qualification next season.

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea