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Chelsea great value to frustrate Arsenal at the Emirates

| 27.09.2012

Chelsea have started the season strongly, beating almost all of the teams they would be expected to and are currently sitting at the Premier League’s summit.

It comes as a surprise, then, that the 7/4 Ladbrokes are offering for the European champions to win at the Emirates in their next game deems them underdogs in the bookies’ eyes.

The Blues also hold an excellent recent record over their London rivals, whom they have beaten in five of the last eight meetings.

Taking both of these factors into consideration, it makes the price for a straight up Chelsea win incredible value, but a bet with even more windfall potential is the 3/1 available for them to keep a clean sheet at Arsenal.

In the aforementioned eight encounters, Chelsea have kept four clean sheets, including one in a 0-0 stalemate on their last visit to north London. They fielded a much-weakened side that day to focus on cup commitments, yet still stemmed the Gunners’ attacking advances.

Having accomplished the feat last year, Roberto Di Matteo knows he can do it again this time around, where he will be fielding his strongest available team and won’t have to contend with Robin van Persie’s goal threat.

The Italian will also be aware that, despite Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the campaign, they have failed to score twice in six outings this term, frustrated by mid-table fodder in Stoke and Sunderland, no less.

These blanks proved that Arsene Wenger’s men are nowhere near as potent in the final third since losing last season’s top scorer; some more resolute defending will be enough for the Blues to keep the door shut here.

Furthermore, Chelsea aren’t exactly unfamiliar with the art of keeping the opposition off the scoresheet this season. They have kept five clean sheets in their last six domestic outings, providing a sound basis for arguing their defensive solidity.

If they can reproduce these levels at the Emirates, Chelsea could comfortably contain Arsenal again, despite the odds suggesting otherwise.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Author

James Middleton