Arsenal vs. Chelsea
MATCH UP STATS
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
Recent resultsArsenal: D W D W DChelsea: W W D W W
ARSENAL need a win.
The 1-1 result against West Brom on New Year’s Eve highlighted a worrying trend of tame draws against beatable opposition.
How can you expect to play Champions League football next term when you cannot put away a team that is destined for relegation?
Six points and a big chunk of goal difference now lie between the Gunners and fourth-placed Liverpool.
It does not help that Arsenal’s game in hand is a derby date with Chelsea.
Like the rest of the top four, the Blues have cruised through the holiday schedule with no real dramas thus far.
They should be brimming with confidence after ending 2017 with a 5-0 rout of Stoke City.
Antonio Conte’s men also have plenty of incentive besides the immense satisfaction that comes with beating an old rival.
A win at the Emirates would see Chelsea leapfrog Manchester United to snatch second place on the English Premier League table.
If fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur do the job against West Ham, that would leave Arsenal in a very tough spot indeed.
Team news and injuries
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil (knee) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) are both rated a slim chance to return on Wednesday. Defenders Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal are both out with ankle problems, while Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud remain sidelined with hamstring strains.
Chelsea: There is nothing much to report from the Chelsea camp. David Luiz is still working back from a knee injury and Charly Musonda has a groin problem. Both are outside chances to feature in the FA Cup this weekend.
Eden Hazard odds and goalscorer specials
|Two goals or more||–||–||+700|
Eden Hazard is enjoying another fine season at Stamford Bridge.
However, the goals have dried up in recent weeks.
The Belgian superstar has now gone seven games in all competitions without troubling the scorers.
That state of affairs cannot continue for much longer.
Hazard has scored against Arsenal on three previous occasions in the league, but never at the Emirates.
Perhaps the time is right for the Chelsea number 10 to break two ducks at once?
Arsenal vs. Chelsea betting tips
The big issue for Wenger and company is the hole in defence.
Can Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers fill the void left by Koscielny, Kolasinac and Monreal?
The jury is still out.
There is also the matter of injuries to Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey – potential match-winners all.
One suspects Granit Xhaka and Alexis Sanchez will have to play big roles if Arsenal are to have any hope.
But the Chelsea midfield is a tough nut to crack, especially when N’Golo Kante is running the show.
The Blues also have the luxury of trotting out classy customers like Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Willian on a horses-for-courses basis.
With no major injuries and a solid form line behind them, Chelsea look very good value for the win.
Best bet: Chelsea to win/over 2.5 goals (+230 at William Hill)