Arsenal vs Chelsea
It’s amazing how quickly things can change in football.
As these two clubs prepare to meet in what was for so long the clash in the capital in the Premier League, it’s all new faces on campus.
Two players who, as recently as six years ago, were playing against each other for the respective teams they are now in charge of.
As Mikel Arteta welcomes Frank Lampard to the Emirates for his first home match in charge, this may lack in the quality of some of their clashes of yesteryear but it should be no less entertaining.
Both sides are out of sort currently, although the west Londoners have far more credit in the bank.
Despite losing five of the last seven, fourth placed Chelsea remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot, are through to the last 16 of this season’s competition and, despite a Boxing Day setback at home to Southampton, turned on the style on their visit to north London last weekend when Willian scored twice to see off Spurs. How they would love a repeat here.
Away from home they are more threatening than at home. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have scored more away goals than Chelsea’s tally of 22.
Fourth place is something Arsenal are well short of right now as the Gunners lie eight points behind their rivals.
The Gunners have won just one of the last 11 league games and find themselves in the bottom half of the table at the halfway stage.
Indeed, Arsenal could lose four consecutive home fixtures in all competitions for the first time in 60 years.
On the flipside, they could win consecutive Premier League home fixtures versus Chelsea for the first time since a run of three from 2001 to 2003.
Premier League news concerns Arsenal defender Calum Chambers who has returned to the squad after serving a suspension on Boxing Day.
Gabriel Martinelli and Hector Bellerin will be assessed, while Rob Holding and Dani Ceballos are likely absentees.
Chelsea are expected to recall Mateo Kovacic after he was banned on Boxing Day, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic also poised to return.
Reece James and Marcos Alonso missed the defeat by Southampton, with the latter more likely to be fit to play.
Over the years, Arsenal have won 77 of their meetings with 64 Chelsea victories and 57 draws.
When these sides met in the second week of last season it was a thriller.
Chelsea edged the contest 3-2, thanks to a late winner from Marcos Alonso.
In the rematch in January, Arsenal triumphed 2-0 courtesy of goals from Alexandre Lacazette and then captain Laurent Koscielny.
Both matches fully displayed both sides strengths and weaknesses and was yet another chapter in the long established rivalry.
That August success for Chelsea was their only triumph in the last eight domestic meetings.
At the Emirates the season before, a late Hector Bellerin goal rescued a point for the Gunners who then beat Chelsea 2-1 at the same venue three weeks later to reach the League Cup Final.
Add in a goalless draw in the 2017/18 encounter at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal victories over Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup Final and Community Shield and it’s easy to see who has had the edge in recent years.
Of course, Chelsea will claim to have won the biggest match of all in that time in some style – a 4-1 thrashing of Arsenal in last season’s Europa League Final.
|Arsenal vs Chelsea||Arsenal 1X2 @ 2.77|
|December 29, 22:00 (GMT+8)|
The SBOBET Premier League betting odds make Chelsea slight favourites which is no surprise. They are priced 1X2 @ 2.40 and with Asian Handicap odds -0.50 @ 2.40.
This fixture provides goals on more occasions that not and you can get odds of @ 2.13 on over 3.25 goals, total goal 2-3 @ 2.08 and total goal 4-6 @ 2.65.
A repeat of the corresponding match last season – correct score 2-0 – will earn you a payout @ 19.50.
I actually fancy Arsenal to end their poor run here and finally secure three much-needed points with a success for new boss Mikel Arteta.
Chelsea’s only victory in their past seven matches at Emirates Stadium in all competitions came in the Premier League in January 2016.
The Gunners have also never lost a Premier League home game against Chelsea in which they have scored first (won 11, drawn four).
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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