As we head into the final chapter of 2019 some folk may be content to look back and reflect on the year we’ve just had. The good and the bad, happy and sad, expected and surprises. That’s not a luxury afforded to football fans, however, especially those with a passion for the English Premier League title race. Important fixtures continue to fly at us as the festive season shows no signs of slowing down. On Sunday 29 December, three games are scheduled from the top-flight of English football. The best of them comes in the form of a London derby as two warring neighbours go head-to-head. There will be no season of goodwill at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal and Chelsea meet from 2.00pm.
Traders Have Their Say
Both teams need three points to strengthen their push for a top four finish, ensuring the Champions League qualification place that comes with it. The Gunners and The Blues have blown hot and cold in this rollercoaster campaign already, but who will hold their nerve and bag a vital three points in front of a bumper audience?
Betting traders have made their feelings clear, pricing Arsenal at 2/1 (Betfair). There’s 13/10 to be had at bet365 if you prefer a punt on Frank Lampard’s men, 72/25 (Marathonbet) set aside for backers of the draw. Place your bets on the outcome of this fixture or trawl through the various specials available, including both teams to score, first goal scorer, total goals and plenty more besides. It’s time to heal the financial pain of the month.
Arsenal Treading Water
Arsenal fans have endured a difficult season and it looks like the London club are going nowhere fast. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel heading towards new year and supporters hope against all hope 2020 brings them more fortune. They started December with a disappointing 2-2 draw away to Norwich – a match they really should have won – before suffering a 2-1 loss at home to Brighton. Arsenal then bounced back with a useful 3-0 win over West Ham across the city but were quickly brought back to earth with a thump, hammered 3-0 by the champions in front of their own fans.
Kevin De Bruyne netted a deadly double that day to heap pressure on the locals, the spare goal credited to Raheem Sterling. Despite being at home that day, Arsenal finished the match with just 42% of the possession and a pitiful one shot on target. The latter, if nothing else, proves just how tough things are at the Emirates this winter. Caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg blamed transitions for the loss, his crew caught too easily on the counter attack. That’s something opponents will aim to pick up on before the coaching staff can tighten up.
Chelsea Suffer Confidence Crisis
Following an excellent run of form that saw Chelsea rack up a run of victories on the road there were some followers of the Premier League who believed Frank Lampard had cracked it at Chelsea. The new manager is working with his fair share of restrictions, including a transfer embargo that means he must hand opportunities to youth players, but he led the blues into the top four and they were well worth their place. Overachieving and getting the best out of his youngsters, everything was rosy in the Stamford Bridge garden. It didn’t last.
Chelsea fell from grace and quickly too. The club lost four of five games during winter and that threatened their place amongst the front-runners. A 1-0 home defeat suffered when hosting Bournemouth was the worst of them, a tough one to take for everyone connected to the club. This is a team in a transitional period, but Chelsea supporters aren’t known for their patience and understanding. They demand wins over the likes of Bournemouth and have every right to do so. Lampard must get his players believing again if they are to bounce back.
Both Teams To Score Will Be Popular
Arsenal and Chelsea played three times last season, but it would be fair to say much has changed since then. The Blues won twice, Arsenal taking the spare. That run started with a thrilling 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in August, Arsenal returning the favour with a 2-0 at this venue in January. The third and final meeting of last season was a 4-1 win for Chelsea in the Europa League final.
Looking through the stats for any hints and clues, we note that both teams scored in three of the last four games involving these sides. That’s worth keeping in mind when planning your bets on this match. Will we see more of the same? Both teams to score is sure to be popular in accumulators at 1/2 with William Hill. Those looking for more of a price can try their luck on both score Chelsea win at a decent 11/4 with bet365. That’s a bet best suited to accumulators.
- Chelsea won 4-1 in the Europa League final when these sides last met
- Arsenal eased to a comfortable 2-0 win when last hosting Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium
- Both teams have scored in three of the last four involving these sides
- Three of the last four derby matches have produced three or more goals
- Pedro scored twice against Arsenal last term