Chelsea vs Arsenal betting preview
This weekend’s Super Sunday sees Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea, both sides coming into the game off the back of tough fixtures in midweek. Chelsea threw away a 2-0 lead for only the third time in their Premier League history, drawing 2-2 with relegation strugglers Southampton, whilst Arsenal came out on top in their FA Cup Third Round Replay with Swansea thanks to a late winner from Jack Wilshere. Although they missed a chance to close in on the leaders, Chelsea will be hoping to stay in touch with the two Manchester teams, ensuring they cannot yet be ruled out of the title race. Arsene Wenger will be vying for that final Champions League place this season and with London rivals Tottenham taking on Manchester on the same day they will hope to reduce the gap further, still with a game in hand. Choose a free bet for this match here.
Chelsea’s Recent Results:
Chelsea 2-2 Southampton (Ba, Hazard)
Stoke 0-4 Chelsea (Walters (og)(x2), Lampard (pen), Hazard)
Chelsea 0-2 Swansea
Southampton 1-5 Chelsea (Ba (x2), Moses, Ivanovic, Lampard (pen))
Chelsea may be rocked by the news that former Barcelona manager, and the man expected by some to replace interim manager Rafa Benitez at Chelsea next season, Pep Guardiola, has agreed to join Bayern Munich for the 2013/14 season. That, added to their slip up against Southampton on Thursday, once again puts pressure on Benitez to pick up points this Sunday.
Having only lost once in the Premier League in December, Chelsea have only picked up four points from a possible nine so far in January, as well as losing the first leg of the Capital One Cup Semi Final to Swansea.
New signing Demba Ba has put Fernando Torres into the shadows, making an instant impact at Stamford Bridge, scoring twice on his debut against Southampton in the FA Cup and notching his first league goal for the club in the week against the same opposition. He is best priced at 4/1 with Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Coral and Bet Victor as favourite to score first, having scored first on the two occasions he’s scored.
John Terry could make his first start since November, whilst John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses continue to miss out with the African Cup of Nations starting this weekend.
Arsenal’s Recent Results:
Arsenal 1-0 Swansea (Wilshire)
Arsenal 0-2 Man City
Swansea 2-2 Arsenal (Podolski, Gibbs)
Southampton 1-1 Arsenal (Do Prado (og))
Arsenal’s inconsistent season continues to rise and fall as they aim to win their first Premier League game of 2013. The one positive this month came on Thursday night as they grasped victory against Swansea to progress them through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.
They do hold an advantage over their nearest league rivals in the sense that they have a game in hand following the Boxing Day match with West Ham which was called off. This only becomes an advantage if they stay on a par with Tottenham and Everton, in 4th and 5th respectively, in turn making three points on Sunday invaluable with a tricky run of games against West Ham, Brighton (FA Cup) and Liverpool.
The club will be massively boosted by the news that Theo Walcott has signed a three and a half year deal, keeping him at Arsenal until the end of the 2015/16 season. Walcott to celebrate his £100,000 per week contract in style with a goal on Sunday is 11/4 with Blue Square and Coral.
Chelsea and Arsenal have shared the spoils when it’s come to Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, having won seven games each in the 20 games played. The draw would make all three results stand at seven apiece – it is priced at 14/5 with Stan James.
The last game between these two sides at Stamford Bridge ended 5-3 to the away side with Robin van Persie scoring a hat-trick. The Dutchman had scored five goals in 12 games against Chelsea, and his departure in the summer may impact the outcome. With both teams averaging under 1.5 goals a game in the head-to-head at Stamford Bridge, under 3 goals in the game on Sunday is a promising bet at 8/7 with Ladbrokes.
Arsenal have only scored in both halves once out of their last four Premier League matches, whilst Chelsea have a similar record, just twice in five matches. Ladbrokes have one half to remain scoreless at 5/4 and Bet Victor price a scoreless first half at 13/5.
Both sides have been terribly inconsistent this season and it will make for an incredibly even game. Chelsea’s power going forward gives them the slight edge with the likes of Mata, Hazard, Lampard and Ba all in great form.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal – Best priced at 12/1 with Bet Victor.
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