Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta will give 'all the support in the world' to young stars in top four race

Arsenal tripped up again this weekend in their pursuit of a top four spot, losing 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

Southampton's Jan Bednarek scored moments before the half-time whistle, and Mikel Arteta's side weren't able to respond at St Mary's, leaving them with just one win in their last five Premier League matches.

Just two weeks ago, Arsenal found themselves fourth with games in hand on both Tottenham and Manchester United below them.

But consecutive losses to Brighton and now Southampton has seen the Gunners slump to sixth, three points off fourth.

However, their game in hand still remains, and a win on Wednesday night would put Arsenal right back into the mix.

Arsenal dejected in defeat

But that might not be such an easy task, considering their midweek opponents are third-placed Chelsea, who are fresh from booking their spot in the FA Cup final on the weekend.

Arsenal will travel to Stamford Bridge for what is bound to be a blockbuster London derby, and Arteta has urged his side to take this "precious" opportunity with both hands.

"We are in the same position as we were with one less game," said the Spaniard. "We have to play on Wednesday and we have to lift them up.

"The task is big but the opportunity as well is so precious that we all want to do it.

"(I will) give all the support in the world to them because they need it. They are 19, 20, 21 years old most of them and that is what they need.

"We are who we are but at the end you have to win the matches and, if you want to be there, that has to be defined in the boxes."

Arteta's focus on youth means that Arsenal now have the youngest average squad in the Premier League, with the average age being 24.2 years old.

But with inexperience also comes daring ability and youthful energy, something Arteta will hope his side can use on Wednesday evening.

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