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Arsenal – Chelsea

Arsenal Chelsea 3 January prediction

Arsenal will host Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday night, with the Gunners being 2.85 or so odds underdogs against their London rivals.

Arsenal has not lost a game in 8 outings and won 3 of the last 5, but truth is they haven`t played well lately. In the last month Wenger’s side was unimpressive in wins, and played poorly in draws against the likes of Southampton or West Brom. The game against West Brom took place just a few days ago and Arsenal was held to a 1-1 draw away from home, although they would have won that match if WBA wasn`t given a bogus penalty in the 90th minute.

Chelsea has lost just once in the last 14 matches and the Blues won 4 of their last 5, but, similar to Arsenal, the results weren`t necessarily based on great performances. Chelsea did play better than Arsenal lately, that is clear, but they haven`t been spectacular, and they could have easily lost a few more points here and there. Chelsea is on the back of a 5-0 home win against Stoke, arguably the best match they played in the last month or so.

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Team news & lineups:

Ramsey, Giroud, Monreal and Kolasinac are out for Arsenal. Ozil and Koscielny are both doubtful, and Wenger will hope to have at least one of them fit. As for Chelsea, they will be without Luiz, Musonda and possibly Cahill.

Arsenal: Cech – Chambers, Mertesacker, Mustafi – Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles – Welbeck, Sanchez – Lacazette

Chelsea: Courtois – Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen – Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso – Hazard, Morata

While Arsenal did not play well in the last month, fact remains that they have not lost in their last 8 matches. What`s more important is the fact that they have been strong at home all season, losing a single game in all competitions. The sole loss was a 1-3 defeat against Manchester United, that result being a total fluke, as Arsenal played arguably its best game of the year in that one, and it`s no exaggeration to say they should have won it with a score around 5-2 or even more.

Also, Arsenal has kind of had Chelsea’s number recently, losing just once in the last 5 meetings, and recording a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, a game in which Arsenal was the slightly better team.

Given the above facts, I find it strange that Arsenal is an underdog at home in this match, even if they have to deal with a few injuries (particularly to the doubtful duo of Ozil and Koscielny). They are playing mediocre football but they are not losing games, they have been great at home all season, and performed well against Chelsea recently.

Given that Conte’s side isn`t exactly playing lights out football either (although it`s true they are playing better than the hosts), I reckon Arsenal should be able to at least get a draw at home, as they did a couple of weeks ago against Liverpool.

Ozil, and Koscielny`s potential absences are definitely a big problem for Arsenal, but not as big to push the odds on the hosts up so much. Plus there`s still a chance for each of the two to end up playing. My tip is Arsenal to cover the +0,5 handicap. Prediction: Arsenal – Chelsea 2-1.

Pick: Arsenal +0,5
Odds: 1.58 @ Pinnacle
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 4.72
Event date: 3 January

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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