AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Chelsea v Arsenal

Tonight’s London Derby between Arsenal and Chelsea this evening is the 200th meeting and it could be that the honours are shared between the two rivals on the big occasion.

Star Sports favour Chelsea, who are 3/4 to do the double over Arsenal tonight, but they don’t make appeal at that price. They hold a five-point lead over Manchester United and Wolves, and are 2/5 to finish in the Top 4 this season, but the failings of their rivals are as big as reason for that as Chelsea’s own form.

A brilliant winning streak in the Autumn put Chelsea into the top four where they have stayed ever since but since the last international break Chelsea have lost six of eleven league games – to put that number into perspective, only Burnley (seven losses) and Bournemouth (nine) have had more defeats in the last two months.

They dominated much of the 90 minutes of their 1-0 defeat at Chelsea – they won the shot count 19-7 and the corner count 10-1 – but they did not create any huge chances and their end produce was frustrating. Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Willian and Emerson all missed chances that varied in difficulty and it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that Chelsea are badly missing Christian Pulisic.

Chelsea v Arsenal
Premier League Kick Off: 20:15
BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultimate HD

(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
MAY 2019 EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal
JAN 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea
AUG 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal
JAN 2018 LEAGUE CUP Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
JAN 2018 LEAGUE CUP Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea
SEP 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal
AUG 2017 COMMUINITY SHIELD Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal
MAY 2017 FA CUP Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
FEB 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal have definitely improved under Mikel Arteta since he arrived, but the Spaniard has a lot to fix at the Emirates and that won’t change overnight. However, we’ve definitely seen improvement from Arsenal, including going forward. Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe (who was excellent against Sheffield United at the weekend) are amongst two who have improved for a change of manager, with Granit Xhaka also taking steps forward.

However, the loss of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a red card has exposed the lack of form of Alexandre Lacazette – without a goal in his last seven appearances in all competitions – and a lot is riding on the shoulders of Gabriel Martinelli, who has had a brilliant debut season scoring nine goals in 20 appearances so far.

There is also still the issue of defending – Arsenal aren’t as loose as they were earlier in the season (and Bukayo Saka has filled in very well for the injured Sead Kolasinac) but they have conceded in all but one of their Premier League games since Arteta’s arrival – indeed two of those came against Chelsea in the reverse fixture.

This is a tricky game to weigh up with both sides having their relative strengths and weaknesses, as we saw in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at The Emirates in December, when Arsenal started strongly and dominated much of the game, only for a Bernd Leno howler and then a Tammy Abraham goal on the counter-attack to give Chelsea all three points.

Take out Bernd Leno’s howler and the expected goals rating had the two sides level at the Emirates, and in the form table both sides are 10th and eleventh with the exact same amount of points. The draw appeals are 12/5 given how evenly matched both sides are, not taking into account the Arteta’s men have drawn all of their last four away games, drawn five of their last six on the road, with three of those ending 1-1.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Draw 3 pts at 12/5 with
BACK 1-1 Draw 1 pt 13/2 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 253.34 points
(excluding Australian tennis, Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)