Soccer / betting tips
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Analysis, Predictions, and Bets
The race for a top 4 finish in the Premier League is heating up and, with Manchester United right on their heels, both Arsenal and Chelsea will be desperate to take 3 points when they face off against each other on Saturday. Current Form Arsenal Arsenal currently find themselves in 5th place in the league on 41 points, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference alone, and 6 points behind 4th placed Chelsea. With that in mind, a loss here is likely to mean that Arsenal are all but confirmed to finish outside of the top 4 this season and miss out on Champions League qualification. Should they win, however, then they will be right back in the hunt and looking to capitalise on any further Chelsea mistakes. In their previous 5 fixtures, Arsenal have won 2, lost 2, and drawn 1. Statistically, Arsenal are somewhat all over the place so far this season. They've scored 46 times in the Premier League, an average of 2.09 goals per game. That's pretty impressive and is largely thanks to Aubameyang, who is undoubtedly a world class striker. Defensively, however, they have conceded 32 times, an average of 1.45 goals per game. That figure is simply too high for a team that aims to be at the top of the table. Arsenal have kept just 3 clean sheets in 22 games which goes to show just how weak they are in defence this season. Chelsea Chelsea are currently in 4th place in the league on 47 points, 6 points clear of both Arsenal and Manchester United. Although they're currently firm favourites for a 4th placed finish, they will need to be at their best over the next couple of months to keep a resurgent Manchester United at bay. In their previous 5 fixtures, Chelsea have won 3, lost 1, and drawn 1. Statistically, Chelsea are lighter in attack than Arsenal this season. They've scored 40 goals so far, an average of 1.82 goals per game. However, they do boast greater defensive stats having conceded just 17 times, an average of 0.77 goals per game. Over the 22 games played so far, Chelsea have managed to keep 10 clean sheets, a huge difference over Arsenal's 3. Head to Head Over the previous 10 meetings between the clubs, Arsenal won 4, Chelsea won 3, and there were 3 draws. Interestingly, although Chelsea beat Arsenal in the corresponding fixture this season, they failed to record a win in the 6 previous games. Analysis Arsenal This is perhaps Arsenal's biggest game to date in the Premier League this season. A win here would put them just 3 points behind Chelsea and within reach of a top 4 finish and a coveted Champions League place next season. However, a loss to Chelsea would be devastating as they'd then be 9 points off the pace and that is likely to be too much to make up over the rest of the season. With Manchester United also only behind them on goal difference now, there is always the chance that they could end up in 6th place which would be a pretty poor finish for Unai Emery's first season in charge. With no reinforcements purchased in the January transfer window and Ramsey confirming that he's set to leave at the end of the season, there are still grey clouds about the Emirates for Arsenal supporters. Home advantage may play a role here and the Arsenal fans will need to get behind their team from the first whistle. A big atmosphere can be enough to push the players into the next gear but should they struggle early on in the match then the Arsenal fans may start to vent their frustrations. That kind of atmosphere is the last thing this team needs and it could further help to cement their place as also-rans this season. Arsenal's biggest strength is their attack and with Aubameyang up front you can usually depend on them getting a few good chances on goal throughout any game. With that in mind, the strategy here is fairly obvious; play with pace through the midfield and find creative passes to put Aubameyang through on goal. The thorn in the side to this Arsenal team, however, is their defence. They really need the defensive players to stand up and be counted in this game because they have been looking like a Championship unit for a while now. With the quality that Chelsea have at their disposal, this is a weakness that could be exploited if they don't remain compact. Chelsea Chelsea are in a good position at the moment in 4th place and a 6 point lead is enough that they have a little breathing space. A loss here, however, would make for a much more uncomfortable ride as one more mistake could cost them a place in the Champions League next season. Should Chelsea manage to take all 3 points here then they will be almost certain to finish in the top 4 this season. The only threat at that point would come from Manchester United, but even that would require a huge run of form from Solskjær's team. Although Chelsea are the away team here, they boast a very impressive defensive record over the course of the season so far. Arsenal's main strength is their attack so the defensive line will need to be at their usual best to try to thwart any attempts from the likes of Aubameyang or Lacazette. Although Arsenal's firepower is slightly superior to Chelsea's, they do still have top class players in those positions and with the way that Arsenal are defending this season, Hazard will have a great chance to get his name on the scoresheet. The best strategy for Chelsea would be to put as much pressure on Arsenal's back line in the early stages of the game as possible. Should they manage to score then the Arsenal players' heads may drop and allow for further punishment. Predictions This is a fixture that Chelsea haven't done too well in over the last few meetings, although they did win in the corresponding fixture earlier this season. However, Arsenal's defence is conceding too many goals and Chelsea have the firepower to make the most of opportunities when they arise. For that reason, I expect Chelsea to take all 3 points here. Prediction: Chelsea win Score Prediction: Arsenal 1 - 3 Chelsea Betting Picks I have backed my hunch that Chelsea will win this game at Scorum Bet at odds of 2.437 which is better value than is being offered at Betfair. I also believe there will be a few goals in this game so have taken over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.571. This is slightly less value than offered at Betfair so I would advise holding out for odds of 1.63 or above. Bet on this fixture now at BetScorum.com - A super fast commission free betting exchange for sports fans!