Arsenal v Chelsea: Must Win Game for Gunners as Sarri Aims to Shut the Door on their top-four Hopes
Undoubtedly, the most crucial fixture of the Premier League this weekend is at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal host London rivals Chelsea on Saturday evening – kick-off: 17:30 GMT – in a contest that both teams dare not lose.
With a resurgent Manchester United now breathing heavily down the metaphorical necks of the pair in the battle for the Champions League places, neither team can afford to drop points in this game which makes it all the more intriguing.
Arsenal must get back their winning thread following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham last Saturday lunchtime, while Chelsea laboured to a 2-1 home win over lowly Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. The Blues currently lead Arsenal by six points in the Premier League standings, and Maurizio Sarri’s side have the opportunity to put some serious daylight between the two club’s points total with victory here.
The bookmakers believe this game to be a relatively even contest, although the away side are the favourites to claim the spoils. Chelsea can be backed at the best industry price at the time of writing of 7/5 with 10Bet to win their first Premier League game in almost three years at the Emirates. Previously, former Chelsea striker, Diego Costa’s solitary goal split the teams following Per Mertesacker’s earlier sending-off for the Gunners.
The onus will be on Arsenal to attack in this game being the home side and the chaser in the race for the top four, and that could appeal to some punters who can back the Gunners at the top value of 25/12 with Unibet. The Draw is not a result that either side would greatly appreciate, but that outcome is far from an impossibility, and can be taken with 188BET at 27/10.
This game between these two clubs is generally a closely fought affair, that has been decided by the odd goal in recent years. I don’t expect this trend to change much on Saturday evening, in what could well be a tense and tight contest.
In truth, this is a difficult game to call, and on that basis, a Draw could well be the value pick here, even though that outcome hurts both team’s top-four aspirations. Chelsea would be the happier of the pair, with a point at a difficult away venue and to keep their North London rivals, six points behind.
Individual Goal Scorers
As the January transfer window is in full swing, the rumour mill is awash with various potential deals and Chelsea are – as usual – at the heart of it, with the potential loan signing of Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine forward is currently on loan at AC Milan, but Chelsea look to be on the verge of securing his signature till the end of the season at least. If this deal can be completed before Friday lunchtime, then Higuain could yet lead the line for Sarri’s side.
That piece of potential business is all conjecture however until the deal is done. It is likely that Chelsea’s talisman, Eden Hazard will continue for the Blues in a ‘false number nine’ role, and the Belgian star co-leads the First Goalscorer betting at 9/2 with William Hill and BetBright Hazard has scored ten Premier League goals so far this season, with a league-leading ten assists, so he is the obvious danger man for Chelsea in this game.
Another 9/2 shot with the same bookmakers is Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has hit 14 league goals this season, and is currently tied at the top of the scoring charts, alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. The former Borussia Dortmund hitman has hit 24 goals for the Gunners in 35 league appearances since his move from Germany, and will be a big threat to the Chelsea rear guard.
Fellow Arsenal front man, Alexandre Lacazette is also likely to be given a starting berth by Gunners boss, Unai Emery and the French striker can be backed at 6/1 with Betway to add to his tally of seven Premier League goals.
Others to consider at bigger prices include Spanish wide man, Pedro, who is a 7/1 chance with 10Bet. The 31-year-old has had somewhat of a renaissance under Maurizio Sarri this season, and provided he gets the starting nod, he is of some value in this market.
The key intangible for this game is the mercurial talent that is Mesut Ozil. The German has been left out of the Arsenal side by Emery in recent times, but his talent is unquestioned. If the Spanish coach decides to bring the former Real Madrid man back into the starting line-up, then Unibet and 888Sport’s offer of 13/1 could be deemed as excellent value.
Other Side Bets
It is a very short price at 4/7 with William Hilland SportPesa, but Both Teams to Score looks highly likely in this game. Arsenal have to attack Chelsea if they are to gain the victory, but the Gunners defence is porous to say the least and the Blues can capitalise. This selection will not be a get-rich-quick scheme, but it is a very likely winning punt in my view.
After previously pinning our betting hopes for an Emirates stalemate in this game, we look towards the Match Result and Both Teams to Score market next, with the full-time result to be a draw, with both teams to score. This outcome can be backed at 16/5 with Ladbrokes and Coral, and is worthy of an interest.
Our Correct Score offering for this game is a 1-1 draw at full-time. SportingBet is the place to go for this selection at the best industry odds of 13/2.
- Both Teams to Score at 4/7 with William Hill
- Match Result to be a Draw, with Both Teams to Score at 16/5 with Ladbrokes
- Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea Correct Score bet at 13/2 with SportingBet.