Gunners to start strong but beware of the Drog

<strong>ARSENAL</strong> VS <strong>CHELSEA</strong><br /><br /><strong>SUNDAY, 4.00PM SKY SPORTS 1</strong><br /><br />ARSENAL will be smarting after last weekend&rsquo;s defeat at Sunderland and the loss of Robin van Persie is obviously a major blow to Arsene Wenger. A win against Chelsea would put them right back in the title race, but they lost 4-1 against the Blues here last season. That did come just days after they were knocked out of the Champions League though so it would be unwise to read too much into it.<br /><br />One major worry for Wenger is the potential return of Didier Drogba to Chelsea&rsquo;s starting line-up &ndash; the Ivory Coast striker definitely holds the Indian sign over the Gunners. In eight games between the two sides when Drogba has played, Chelsea have won seven and drawn the other; whilst in the three when he has been absent Arsenal have won two and drawn one. There has to be a question mark over his fitness, but such a telling stat would be unwise to disregard.<br /><br />These two are the only teams in the league with a 100per cent home record, but neither side actually has a strong record at home against the other. The Gunners have won just one of their last six home games against their west London rivals in all competitions since 2004 and Chelsea have won only two of seven against Arsenal during the same period.<br /><br />It is worth pointing out that prior to Chelsea&rsquo;s 4-1 thumping of Arsenal at the Emirates in May, they had taken only three points from their previous eight away league games at the Big Four since 2006. Furthermore, that defeat was the Gunners&rsquo; first home loss against the Big Four in 11 games &ndash; winning five and drawing the other five. <br /><br /> analysis shows that although Arsenal have only won one of their last six against Chelsea, they have actually taken the lead in four of those. This fits nicely with Chelsea&rsquo;s terrible record in conceding first away at the Big Four. They have done so in 18 of their last 20 across all competitions and eight of their last nine in the league.<br /><br />Drogba has a wonderful effect on Chelsea against Arsenal, but his goalscoring record is also not to be sniffed at. In the eight games he has played against them he has scored eight and a small buy of his goal minutes at 21 with Sporting Index looks interesting.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br />Arsenal to score first at EVS with Boylesports<br />Match to be drawn at 12/5 with Boylesports<br />Buy (small) Didier Drogba&rsquo;s goal minutes at 21<br />with Sporting Index<br /><br /><strong>EVERTON</strong> vs <strong>LIVERPOOL</strong><br /><br /><strong>SUNDAY, 1.30PM SKY SPORTS 1</strong><br /><br />THE fog is usually on the Tyne, but it is most definitely hovering over the River Mersey at the moment. Liverpool fans were anticipating a long overdue Premier League title this season and Everton were hoping to get in the Champions League places. It has been a very disappointing start though and the two teams have lost 11 of their 26 games.<br /><br />Both sides are short of confidence and I&rsquo;d be far happier backing the draw at 12/5 on Betdaq than Liverpool at 11/10 with Hills or the Toffees at 9/4. Everton have now failed to beat a Big Four team in their last 20 attempts in the league and they have taken just three points from 10 games at Goodison during that time. Liverpool have lost four of their six away games this season and only managed to scrape victories against lowly Bolton and West Ham.<br /><br />The main betting opportunity looks to be the total goals market and it wouldn&rsquo;t surprise me to see both goalkeepers kept busy. Since David Moyes took the helm in 2002, five of the seven league games between these rivals have produced three or more goals. It is true that Everton&rsquo;s last three home games have finished 1-1, but seven of their last 11 at Goodison have seen at least three, as have eight of their 13 league games this season.<br /><br />Liverpool&rsquo;s tendency for high scoring games is even more pronounced &ndash; six of their last nine away games have featured at least three goals. An interesting spread betting option might be to wait for half-time before buying goals with Sporting Index. There have been more goals scored in the second half in eight of Everton&rsquo;s last 10 home games, as well as in nine of their last 12 at Goodison against the Big Four.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br />Match to be drawn at 12/5 on Betdaq<br />Buy goals at half-time with Sporting Index if one or no goals have been scored