Chelsea vs Arsenal | Match preview including betting tips and prediction
Match preview ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League showdown with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Here’s the latest team news, betting tips and prediction
Arsenal need a win to stay in the race for the top four when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Gunners have endured a tough campaign as they had their worst start to a league season in almost 70 years under former manager Unai Emery which led to the Spaniard being sacked in late November.
Mikel Arteta was brought in as Emery’s permanent successor just before Christmas and he’s improved the organisation in the team but Arsenal are still struggling to grind out wins having won just two of their last 14 Premier League games.
A frustrating 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park was followed up by another 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon with Arsenal throwing away the lead in both games.
It’s left the north Londoners sitting 10th in the table and 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea so Arsenal desperately need a win tonight to get themselves back in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Chelsea have had a hugely inconsistent season themselves as poor form at home and disappointing defeats like the 1-0 loss at Newcastle United on Saturday have hampered their progress under Frank Lampard.
However, the Blues have still done enough to get into a solid position in the top four as they’re five points clear of Man Utd so a win this evening would see Chelsea tighten their grip on that all-important fourth place.
Chelsea defender Reece James is a doubt for the game after picking up a knee injury at Newcastle but Marcos Alonso is set to return to the squad after recovering from a thigh injury that’s kept him out recently.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still working his way back to full fitness following a serious Achilles injury while Christian Pulisic is also still on the sidelines with a groin problem.
Arsenal have plenty of selection problems to contend with as striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will serve the second match of his three-game suspension and Reiss Nelson has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury in training.
Sead Kolasinac is also facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury and Kieran Tierney is still recovering from shoulder surgery that he underwent late last year.
Calum Chambers is out for up to nine months with a knee ligament injury, however, there is some positive news for Arsenal as Sokratis should be back in contention after recovering from illness which kept him out of the Sheffield United game.
Chelsea are the 3/4 favourites to win the game while Arsenal can be backed at odds of 7/2 and the draw is at 29/10. I think this is a tough game to bet on as both teams are so inconsistent and unpredictable. The odds seem to vary considerably between different bookmakers so that could open up some opportunities for matched betting and I see that as a solid method for profit in this match. However, for traditional bettors, I think the safe bet is the draw with both teams to score – which can be backed at 7/2.
Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal: Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners in the reverse fixture at the Emirates thanks to two late goals but they were perhaps a little fortunate to win that game as Jorginho should have been sent off when Arsenal were leading 1-0. This could be a fascinating game as Chelsea’s home form is poor with the Blues tasting defeat six times already at Stamford Bridge this season. Usually Arsenal should be licking their lips but the Gunners have won just one of their last 10 away games in the Premier League. With stats like that, it’s no wonder I’m sitting on the fence and backing a 1-1 draw.