Chelsea can get back on track at the Bridge

CHELSEA vs ARSENAL
SUNDAY – 4.00PM SKY SPORTS

IT isn’t often that Chelsea and Arsenal meet each other having both lost their previous league game but that’s exactly what will happen on Sunday. Chelsea were a little lacklustre at Eastlands against Manchester City last Saturday but, in fairness, Roberto Mancini’s side put in a very disciplined and professional performance.

Arsenal were hugely disappointing against West Brom at home and anyone who backed the Baggies at 25/1 on Betdaq would have been celebrating well into the night. Arsene Wenger’s team were much better in Belgrade on Tuesday and that would have restored some of their confidence ahead of this massive game.

The champions did the double over Arsenal last season, scoring five goals without conceding. The Blues have won four of the last five league meetings between the rivals and we all know how strong they are at Stamford Bridge. They have lost just one league game at the Bridge in their last 34 and have only drawn four games in that period.

Bettorlogic.com have unearthed a really interesting stat when it comes to this game. Chelsea have won 11 of their last 15 home matches when they have lost their previous league game, while Arsenal have won just two of 12 on their travels directly after a league defeat.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s winning run at home now stretches to eight league games and 10 of the last 14 Premier League teams to have done that have gone on to win their ninth since 2005/06. It’s very rare to be able to back Chelsea at just a shade of odds-on at the Bridge and I would suggest snapping up the 3/4 with Paddy Power.

Games between the Big Four can often be tight, tactical affairs and five of Chelsea’s last six home matches against Big Four opponents have featured two or fewer goals. The same is true in nine of Arsenal’s last 16 trips to the Big Four since 2004/05. The Blues are yet to concede at home this season and although Arsenal have scored one in each of their three away games so far, I can see Petr Cech keeping another clean sheet on Sunday.

Spread bettors are advised to sell goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index and I can see Chelsea winning 2-0. That can be backed at 8/1 with William Hill and I also wouldn’t put anyone off having a few quid on Didier Drogba to score the first goal at 4/1 with Paddy Power. The Ivorian’s record against the Gunners is outstanding – he has scored 12 goals in a dozen games against them, with nine in his past six appearances.

POINTERS...
Chelsea to win at 3/4 with Paddy Power

Chelsea to win 2-0 at 8/1 with William Hill

Didier Drogba to score first at 4/1 with Paddy Power

Sell total match goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index

MANCHESTER CITY vs NEWCASTLE
SUNDAY – 1.30PM ESPN

IT was time for Manchester City to put up or shut up against Chelsea last weekend and they certainly silenced the doubters with an accomplished performance. Roberto Mancini employed typical Italian tactics and his defence – led by the excellent Vincent Kompany – limited the champions to only a handful of chances.

Carlos Tevez has started this season where he left the last one and now has four league goals to his name. City are very dangerous on home soil and difficult to break down, so this will be no easy task for Newcastle.

Chris Hughton’s side have been a measure of inconsistency on their return to the top flight. A 6-0 win at home against Aston Villa and a 1-0 win at Everton prove that they have enough quality to stay in this division, but home defeats to Blackpool and Stoke underline what a challenge it’s going to be.

We saw the Magpies bounce back at Goodison after the Blackpool defeat, but Everton have struggled so far this campaign and City will be a totally different kettle of fish at Eastlands. The Sky Blues have won eight of their last nine home games against promoted sides – drawing the other – and have recorded seven half-time / full-time victories.

Top-six sides generally have a strong record at home when facing promoted teams. Since 2005/06, when facing promoted opposition in the opening 10 games of the season, 13 of 22 (59%) games have been won by the half-time / full-time double result. City have also recorded that double in 11 of their 22 home fixtures since the start of last season and I’d advise backing that at 6/5 on Betdaq.

It’s difficult to know how the Magpies will approach this game which makes it difficult to recommend a correct scoreline. However, City are beginning to gel and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won this quite comfortably. Sporting Index quote City supremacy at 1.3-1.5 and I’d be happy to buy at 1.5.

POINTERS...
Manchester City HT / FT double result at 6/5 on Betdaq

Buy Manchester City supremacy at 1.5 with Sporting Index

LIVERPOOL vs BLACKPOOL
SUNDAY – 3.00PM

LIVERPOOL’S season is going from bad to worse and Roy Hodgson must be wondering why he left his comfortable life at Craven Cottage. The Reds were pretty inept again against Sunderland at Anfield last weekend and they really need to start winning some games soon if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top four.

Blackpool come to town on Sunday and have surprised everyone with the guts and guile they have shown so far. However, they have now lost back-to-back games for the first time this season and are yet to win at home, so the pressure is starting to creep up a notch.

If Liverpool don’t win this game, Hodgson will have some serious problems, but I wouldn’t be backing them with stolen money at 1/3. They are a side playing with a complete lack of confidence and their only win so far this season was a 1-0 home victory against West Brom.

The Reds have been level at the break in all three of their home games and also in six of their 10 games hosting promoted sides since 2007/08. They have kept a clean sheet in eight of those matches – drawing the other two 2-2 – and they are unbeaten when drawing at half-time at Anfield since the start of last season.

I actually think Liverpool will have too much for Ian Holloway’s battlers in the end, so I’ll be backing the draw half-time / Liverpool full-time double at 7/2 on Betdaq.

POINTER...
Draw HT / Liverpool FT at 7/2 on Betdaq