Chelsea meet Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this weekend, with both having to come to terms with the dominance of the two Manchester clubs so far this season. While the Blues still have ambitions of getting involved in the scrap for title, the Gunners have lowered their sights and would now see Champions League qualification as relative success. What are the betting prospects for this intriguing London derby?
Betfair ‘Both teams to score’ – ‘Yes’ @ 1.75.
Bet365 Back ‘Over 2.5′ @ 7/10 (1.7).
The defeat to QPR last weekend was a shock. Rangers had forced some good results before this match, but it was still widely expected that the Blues would outclass them in every department. By half time, Chelsea were 1-0 down and had seen Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba dismissed. The 9 men put up a strong show in the second half, but could not change the scoreline. The defeat was a real disappointment as Andre Villas-Boas will have been keen to take advantage of the top two sides clashing at Old Trafford the same weekend.
The Blues will be anxious to bounce back strongly from the defeat, and although Bosingwa and Drogba will now be suspended, Chelsea have enough strength in their squad to cope, and maintain their strong home form.
The much maligned Gunners have quietly put together a good string of results of late. They have won 4 of their last 6 in the league, but 7 of the last 8 in all competitions. The away form remains a concern however. Having lost 3 league away trips in a row, fans could be forgiven for being pessimistic going into this fixture. There are finally signs of life in Arsenal though, and the run of recent wins may just have restored some of the lost confidence that Arsene Wenger referred to in the aftermath of the Blackburn débâcle.
While Chelsea are worthy favourites, they cannot be seen as value with the price as low as it is at present. Arsenal are nowhere near their best but they are still capable of springing a surprise, or at least making things difficult for the home team. With no value on offer, the best betting prospects lie away from the match odds market.
One glaring statistic that might be helpful is the number of clean sheets that both sides have kept in the League so far. Arsenal have kept just 3 (33% of games) and Chelsea, surprisingly, just 1 (11%). That lack of defensive prowess suggests there will be goals in this one. With that in mind, the value might be in Betfair’s Both teams to score market, with ‘Yes‘ trading at 1.75. Alternatively, Bet365 offer the best price on Over 2.5 goals, at 7/10 (1.7).