• Manager says his challenge is to inspire more consistency
• Arteta admits ‘possibility’ there will be no January signings

Arsenal’s ambitions of mounting a late bid for the Champions League places are on the line at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and Mikel Arteta admits three points against Chelsea, followed by a sustained run of good form, are necessary if their hopes of turning a fraught season around are to be maintained.

Ten points lie between Chelsea, in fourth, and Arteta’s 10th-placed side. The head coach, whose only defeat during a month in charge has been a damaging 2-1 home reverse to the same opponents on 29 December, knows an extension of that gap would in effect kill off their top-four chances. But he also believes the present situation provides room for optimism.

Related: Frank Lampard praises ‘great player’ Cavani as Chelsea step up striker search

Related: Nabil Bentaleb has Newcastle medical after agreeing Premier League return

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