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Chelsea v Arsenal: London derby set to excite at Stamford Bridge

| 19.01.2013

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez goes in search of his first home victory in four attempts when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge in Premier League.

The Blues won 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the reverse of this fixture earlier in the season, and the hosts are the 5/6 favourites to triumph again here.

However, those odds aren’t great for a side who have won just twice in seven games at the Bridge under their Spanish tactician.

Considering the fans’ distaste for the former Liverpool boss, it may be risky trusting Chelsea to take three points from such an important game on home soil.

On the other hand, Arsenal haven’t lost a Premier League game away from home since the defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford at the beginning of November.

The Gunners are priced at 3/1 to win this London derby, and will be in confident mood going into the match after a late Jack Wilshere goal sent them through in the FA Cup against Swansea.

Wilshere has said that ‘Chelsea don’t enjoy facing Arsenal’, and while the midfielder’s team have just a modest recent record versus the Blues – two victories in nine – the North Londoners did win 5-3 at Stamford Bridge last season.

Of all the match bets, perhaps the draw is the most likely at 11/4, enhanced by Arsenal’s five away draws being the joint second-highest in the division.

But with just one stalemate seen between Arsenal and Chelsea during their last 12 meetings in all competitions, that too appears a somewhat risky bet.

One thing you can usually rely on during games between these two though is goals, and over 2.5 at a price of 8/13 should be relied upon to return dividends.

That bet would have come in during three of the last four fixtures between Sunday’s opponents, while Chelsea have been involved in matches that have produced more goals than that six times out of nine.

Arsene Wenger will consider his side unfortunate to not have knocked more than one goal past Swansea mid-week given they had 26 attempts on target, and had Arsenal not seen Laurent Koscielny dismissed early on against Man City then they would have surely beaten Joe Hart then too.

The most likely candidates to get on the scoresheet in this game are prolific strikers Demba Ba and Theo Walcott.

Ba has three goals in thee starts for Chelsea, and having scored twice against the Gunners for Newcastle last month, is worth supporting at evens to score anytime or 4/1 to break the deadlock.

Arsenal have announced Walcott has signed a new long-term deal at the club, and the 23-year-old could celebrate in style by notching his fifth goal against the Blues with the first strike at 7/1, or firing anytime at 11/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Jamie Dickenson