CHELSEA vs ARSENAL
TOMORROW – 12.45PM SKY SPORTS
GAMES between Chelsea and Arsenal normally have a huge bearing on the title, but the way Manchester City are playing at the moment, it’s very hard to see the trophy ending up anywhere else other than the Etihad Stadium. We backed City at 9/2 at the start of the season and they’re now a best-priced 6/5 with Ladbrokes, giving us the opportunity to trade out if we wish. There’s still a long way to go, but they are so strong in every department that I’m going to keep the bet running.
Andre Villas-Boas has had a testing week with Chelsea’s disappointing defeat at QPR on Sunday, when they had two men sent off in the second half, and the subsequent furore with John Terry. The Blues bounced back in midweek at Goodison Park to progress to the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, but Villas-Boas must be worried about his team’s discipline with three red cards in the past two games.
However, prior to last weekend’s defeat Chelsea were looking good and they are particularly strong at Stamford Bridge, where they have won all four this campaign. They have won nine of their last 10 home fixtures against top-six sides, while they have also beaten Arsenal four times in the last five league meetings home and away, with all of those victories coming by the HT/FT double result.
Arsenal have won four straight games across all competitions, but their form on the road is worrying to say the least. They had the best away record in the league last season, but they have the joint-worst this time (a solitary point), and have conceded 14 goals in four games. The Gunners have also lost seven of their last nine visits to top-six sides and they were trailing at the break in six of those defeats.
Arsene Wenger would be delighted with a point from this game, but I just can’t see past another home win for Chelsea and that should be backed at 4/6 with Paddy Power. There is also mileage in the HT/FT double result at around 2.6 on Betdaq.
I was planning to buy goals, as Chelsea have conceded in all of their four home games this season, but the 3-3.2 quote with Sporting Index doesn’t offer much value. Ladbrokes go 12/1 about a 3-1 home win and that is worth a speculative wager with Arsenal’s defence still suspect.
Sporting Index’s bookings market is particularly interesting after Chelsea’s recent indiscretions. The firm have bookings points at 54-58 and I will be selling at that figure, with Villas-Boas surely drilling it into his team to keep their composure.
Arsenal’s last six league games have averaged just 35 bookings points, while there have been no more than five yellow cards in the last six meetings between the sides, at an average of 30 points per game. Andre Marriner is the man in the middle and his five games this season have averaged 32 points with no red cards.
Chelsea at 4/6 with Paddy Power
Chelsea HT/FT at 2.6 on Betdaq
Chelsea 3-1 at 12/1 with Ladbrokes
Sell bookings at 55 with Sporting Index