No home comfort for Chelsea

CHELSEA
ARSENAL

Sunday 1.30pm

THE boos inside Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night would have been music to Arsene Wenger’s ears ahead of Arsenal’s crunch game in West London this weekend.

Chelsea suffered more home misery, despite early strikes from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard setting the Blues coasting towards a first home victory since before Christmas, as goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon rescued an unlikely point for Southampton.

At the Bridge, Chelsea have won only once in six domestic games since Rafa Benitez arrived at the club, albeit putting eight past a poor Aston Villa outfit. They were also beaten 2-0 by Swansea in the first leg of the Capital One Cup.

The news that Pep Guardiola has opted to join German giants Bayern Munich next summer could not have come at a worse time for Roman Abramovich.

Over at Emirates Stadium, Jack Wilshere’s sumptuous strike four minutes from time against Swansea ensured that Arsenal’s chances of claiming a domestic trophy this season remained intact. It wasn’t the best performance, yet it was important to pick up a result following the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Wenger praised Wilshere’s all-round performance, with his match fitness improving each outing, and the clean sheet was a big positive for them ahead of facing misfiring Chelsea.

Although the Blues scored two against the Saints, they have failed to find the back of the net in four of Benitez’s six domestic home games. They have won only two of those matches and I like the Gunners’ chances of adding to their problems.

Arsenal have hardly been prolific in front of goal in recent times, scoring only once in their past two league games. With that in mind, I like the 11/1 Blue Square Bet are offering for there to be no goalscorer.

In terms of head-to-heads, it’s the Gunners who have just about had the upper hand in recent clashes, losing only one of the last four and winning two. That includes a brilliant 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge last campaign in which former hero Robin van Persie, now at Manchester United, stole the show with a hat-trick.

Bearing in mind Chelsea’s current home form, punters may well be keen to take the Gunners with the +1 Asian handicap at 1.8 with Samvo, but I would rather be backing the draw at 11/4 with Blue Square Bet.

Chelsea have been shot shy at home since the Spaniard arrived in town, while Arsenal have drawn a blank in two of their past three visits to the Blues in the league.

Spread bettors should therefore sell total goals at 3 with Sporting Index.

Pointers…
Draw at 11/4 with Blue Square Bet
No goalscorer at 11/1 with Blue Square Bet
Sell total goals at 3 with Sporting Index