Two unbeaten teams this season, Arsenal and Chelsea, clash in the first big London derby of the new Premier League season (12.45pm BST, Saturday Sept 29).
In the last three seasons Arsenal have won, drawn and lost their three home games against Chelsea. That suggests relying on the form of their previous meetings may be unwise. Last season Arsenal did thrash Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea would love to dish out the same embarrassment here.
Both sides have enjoyed decent starts to the season, with Chelsea currently in top spot and Arsenal in fifth with neither side having lost. Chelsea started the season with four straight wins but since they drew at QPR they seem to have lost momentum. They then drew against Juventus in the Champions League and last weekend they scraped past Stoke thanks to a late Ashley Cole goal.
In midweek Chelsea did thrash Wolves 6-0 in the Capital One Cup but that is unlikely to have any bearing on this match as it was a largely different Chelsea side that is likely to start at the Emirates. Saying that, Fernando Torres would have taken great confidence from his goal against Wolves and he is likely to play.
Chelsea this year are a different proposition. In years gone by they have deployed at least two defensive midfielders, but this season with the likes of Oscar, Hazard and Mata they look far more attacking and dangerous from anywhere on the pitch.
Despite all their flair and creativity in midfield, what Chelsea are really lacking this year is a striker like Didier Drogba. For all that Torres is regaining confidence he tends to drift in and out of games and doesn’t have the authority or poachers touch that Drogba had.
Just as Chelsea look different this year, Arsenal seem to be far stronger defensively and it wasn’t until their fourth match that they conceded a goal. With Thomas Vermaelen and Pet Mertesacker in defence Arsenal look good.
Even without the injured Vermaelen against Manchester City last weekend, Laurent Koscielny stepped in superbly and scored the equalizer. Had Arsenal had an in-form Gervinho last weekend then they would have beaten City as every chance fell to the Ivorian and he was unable to get one on target. I expect Gervinho to lose his place either to Olivier Giroud or Theo Walcott after both were on target in a 6-1 rout of Coventry in midweek.
Arsenal v Chelsea Betting Tips Verdict
For Arsenal the key in this match will be to use their superior pace of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to cause havoc against the Chelsea back four.
- I expect Arsenal to win this home game, which can be backed @ largest odds of 5/4 with Coral or William Hill.
- For the correct score verdict, I would expect Arsenal to win 2-0 which is a stand-out price @ 12/1 with BetVictor.
- Take Podolski to score first @ 6/1 with BetVictor, Stan James, Ladbrokes or Coral.