The early kick off this weekend sees a London derby between two clubs vying for the Premier league title. Fresh from their Champions League progression, Chelsea welcome an Arsenal side looking to close the gap at the top of the table. Live on BT Sport at 12:45, we have some free football betting tips for you.
After slipping up against Aston Villa last weekend, Chelsea opened the door for their three main rivals, with the race for the title shaping up to be the best in years. Mourinho's cunning tactic of trying to bore Villa to death backfired, Paul Lambert's men scored a terrific counter attacking goal and were good value for their win. Whilst Willian can consider himself unlucky to be sent off, Ramires certainly made up for it with a challenge worthy of two red cards on its own. The defeat was The Blues first in the league since early December, and whilst many of their performances have been unremarkable since then, they have picked up a lot of points along the way through grinding out results. The 4-0 win over Spurs a fortnight ago was a gift thanks to a mixture of defensive blunders and refereeing mistakes, the match could easily have finished 0-0.
Similarly to their opponents, Arsenal also ground out a fine result at Tottenham last week. Tomas Rosicky scored a second minute wonder strike and The Gunners held on for the 1-0 win. Despite being outplayed for long periods, a superb defensive display by Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertersacker saw the points go back to The Emirates. With the exception of their mauling at Anfield, the pair have been solid as a rock this season. Is there a better partnership in the league, probably not. Nonetheless, Arsenal's form has not been that of title winning pedigree in recent weeks. Losses at Stoke and Liverpool, dropped points against Southampton and Manchester United saw them fall as low forth place. Although Arsene Wenger can have no worries at the back, injuries further forward are really throwing a spanner in the works at the moment. The unfortunate Aaron Ramsey is still out, as is Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere. However, Arsenal still have enough talent in their ranks to hurt Chelsea. The inconsistent Olivier Giroud has been run into the ground this season, but remains a threat, and the form of Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain has really caught they eye of late.
Browsing the early prices, Chelsea can be backed at a best priced 20/21 and Arsenal as long as 7/2. Given Mourinho's much documented home record and Arsenal's injury worries, I would be surprised if they could leave with all three points. This leads me to the draw, available at 5/2. Both teams will be perfectly happy with a point on Saturday, as will Liverpool and Manchester City. Chelsea have four very winnable fixtures to follow so Jose Mourinho's objective will be the same as always against the big teams, not to lose. The two sides with the best defences in the league played out a 0-0 at The Emirates back in December, I expect that to be the same this weekend. Back the draw outright at 5/2 with Betfred and a further 0-0 with the same bookmaker at 8/1. Being a live TV game, 1-1 is protected under the '1 Apiece' offer and at odds of 11/2 it's not exactly the most enticing of carrots anyway.
With the stalemate covered, the match is hardly going to make for much of a spectacle. It is important, if purely for entertainment purposes alone, to look for value in other markets. Samuel Eto'o has a sweet tooth for scoring in big games this season with goals against Liverpool, Spurs and Galatasaray recently. As many will remember he also scored a hat trick, albeit the worst in history, against Manchester United back in January. Trying to predict the Chelsea front line has been difficult this year, but after a goal in midweek you would expect him to get the nod up top this weekend. At 9/2 with the Betfred 'DD/HH' back him to open the scoring, even if he starts on the bench as Fernando Torres usually gets the hook on the hour.
Finally, for our weekly rummage through the stats. Compared with any other time in the match, Chelsea and Arsenal score their highest percentage of goals in the last fifteen minutes. They are respectively placed second and forth in the league with this statistic. Back a match goal being scored between 76 and 90 minutes at 11/10 with William Hill. Not the best odds in the world but it will ease the pain of losing out on 0-0, especially if it's Samuel Eto'o.
Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips
Draw – Bet Here at 5/2 with Betfred
Draw 0-0 – Bet Here at 8/1 with Betfred
Samuel Eto’o to Score First – Bet Here at 9/2 with Betfred
A goal between the 76th and 90th minute – Bet Here at 11/10 with William Hill .
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