The game of the Premier League weekend is unquestionably the London derby as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, head to the Emirates Stadium to take on an Arsenal team in red-hot form. This league encounter arguably lacks the spice of recent clashes as Chelsea, bar the shouting, have wrapped up the league title. However, Arsenal will be desperate to finish the season as strongly as they can and push the team from west London as close as possible.
Wenger’s struggles against his managerial counterpart from across the city are well documented; 12 times the two have met and the Frenchman is still yet to taste victory, drawing five and losing seven of their encounters. The head to head record between the two makes similarly depressing reading for Arsenal fans, in nine meetings since their move from Highbury they have picked up maximum points only twice.
Although it is Chelsea who are destined to lift the crown, it is Arsenal who have been the team to beat in 2015 – no team has picked up more points than the Gunners’ 33 – and they will feel they are playing Chelsea at a perfect time.
The Gunners are without doubt the form side in the division they have won eight on the spin and have reached their second consecutive FA Cup final following their extra time victory over Reading. That performance left a lot to desired but the result was all important and Arsenal have found a way to get results.
The match also pits two of the standout players of the season so far against each other: Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. The two have, at times, dragged their respective clubs out of difficult spots and it will be intriguing to see who manages to come out on top. However, since Chelsea have lost their first choice strikers, Hazard has come into his own, scoring five in his last seven.
Back Hazard to score anytime @ 13/5
Another good bet for an anytime scorer is Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, he has been prolific since the turn of the year, scoring 10 in 12 and if the Gunners are to breach the Chelsea defence there is a good chance it will be the Frenchman turning the ball in.
Back Giroud to score anytime @ 6/4
Mourinho’s side have regressed from their early season attacking tendencies and have become a great deal more interested in solidity, particularly since their star striker Diego Costa has been unavailable. Although they are two of the three highest scorers in the division, it would not be a surprise to see Chelsea adopt a similar style to the one that saw them overcome Manchester United. For all of Arsenal’s attacking prowess, it is difficult seeing this as anything other than a low scoring affair.
Back under 2.5 goals @ 7/10
Although Arsenal are the team that are flying, the Gunners seem to have an inferiority complex when they come up against Chelsea and the champions elect are at an extremely appealing price to not only step closer to the title, but to extend Wenger’s miserable run against ‘The Special One’.
Back Chelsea to win @ 21/10
Back Chelsea or draw on Double Chance @ 3/5