Big Match Breakdown: Arsenal v Chelsea
London derby could shape the top-four race
Arsenal host Chelsea on Wednesday evening in the Premier League’s first heavyweight clash of 2017.
The Gunners are currently sixth, six points off Liverpool in fourth. They need a win to stay within touching distance of the Champions League spots.
Chelsea sit in third, but they’d climb to second with a victory over their London rivals.
It’s all set up for a great game at the Emirates and the Coral News Team have all the pre-match info…
Arsenal had a dismal record against the Blues when Jose Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge. But they’ve done much better against the West London club since Antonio Conte came in.
They’ve only lost one of the five meetings since the former Juventus boss arrived in England. Those games include their superb FA Cup final triumph and a 3-0 win in this game last term.
However, with the exception of last season, Chelsea tend to do well at the Emirates. They’d only lost on one of their previous eight trips there.
Arsene Wenger faces a real shortage of options at the back. He’s without Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac and possibly Laurent Koscielny.
Per Mertesacker is likely to come in for Koscielny, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left-wingback.
Mesut Ozil is also a doubt here. Danny Welbeck’s speed and energy has caused real problems for Chelsea in the past. He’s likely to get the nod if the German can’t play.
Chelsea are much closer to full strength. Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas should return after being rested against Stoke City. Andreas Christensen could also come back into the team after recovering from injury.
Eden Hazard has terrorised Arsenal in the past. The Gunners will need to make sure Granit Xhaka isn’t left isolated in midfield against the Belgian’s dazzling dribbling.
Alvaro Morata will also fancy his chances against a weakened Arsenal backline. Mertesacker was outstanding against Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup final. He may need to hit those heights again.
Arsenal are one of the few sides that seem to have worked out how to play against Chelsea’s back three system.
Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez will look to exploit the spaces between the wide centre-backs and the wing-backs.
Given the home side’s absences, there’s value in Chelsea to Win and Both Teams to Score at 16/5.
Arsenal have also conceded first in recent home games against Manchester United and Liverpool. Chelsea are 29/10 to be in the lead after 30 minutes.
There have been Over 2.5 Goals in three of the last five meetings between these two. It’s 8/11 for the same outcome here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing