Arteta took charge for the first time on Boxing Day against Bournemouth and the Spaniard was pleased with his side’s performance at Dean Court despite the points being shared.
The Gunners have won just one of their last 14 matches in all competitions and will be desperate for victory over bitter London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates.
Arteta can take encouragement from the fact Chelsea have also suffered a drastic dip in form. Frank Lampard’s men have been defeated by relegation-threatened Bournemouth and Southampton over the last fortnight.
Willock believes Arteta has brought positivity back to an Arsenal dressing room which was badly lacking in confidence.
‘Arteta has brought a different sort of energy and different sort of tactics that we can relate to more,’ the Arsenal youngster told Premier League Productions.
‘I feel like everyone is excited, there’s a big buzz around the changing room, everyone’s laughing again and everyone’s got their head up.
‘We’re trying to build confidence in each other and on the pitch as well so hopefully we can transmit that on the pitch.’
Charlie Nicholas is confident Arsenal will have been ‘lifted’ after their display against Bournemouth and has backed his former club to beat Chelsea this weekend.
Predicting a 3-2 win for Arsenal, Nicholas told Sky Sports: ‘Chelsea are still up and down, with significant class and real quality.
‘I touched on it last week, but Willian has been class this season – he was left out and they lose at home to Southampton.
‘They are in a better shape organisationally. The movement of Willian, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic will cause problems. They have nice pace and nice balance, while Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have been good when they have time on the ball.
‘What changes do Chelsea have to make? They are very limited to the changes they can make – the three at back worked at Tottenham but did not work against Southampton. There are too many mistakes within the defence.
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‘Let’s switch it back to Arsenal. Granit Xhaka may be off, so he picked what he thought was the best balance in midfield.
‘As much as I like what Matteo Guendouzi has, he has been poor and struggled at times, but he will come good and may come back into the fold at some point. You see that he had to play Bukayo Saka at left-back, but he has done very well considering he is an attacker.
‘Alexandre Lacazette is back in the team, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is scoring, but Lacazette was sluggish – he needed that game. ‘Mesut Ozil was subbed but was not finding the space, so you can see why. I enjoyed the desire and a bit of fight from the Arsenal team I saw at Bournemouth.
‘This should lift the big players. He could make a few changes, but my heart is ruling my head here.’