By William Hill
27th December 2019
The Premier League’s hectic festive period continues on Sunday, with Arsenal against Chelsea the pick of the day’s games. We preview the London derby clash.
No place like away from home for Chelsea?
Despite Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton on Thursday, they should head to the Emirates Stadium with some confidence given their impressive form on the road this season. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more points away from home in the Premier League this term, with Frank Lampard’s side winning six of the nine games they have played outside of Stamford Bridge.
That includes the Blues’ last game on the road and their last visit to north London last Sunday, when they so impressively dismantled Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side on their home turf, running out 2-0 winners thanks to a brace from Willian.
Such form away from home for Chelsea, coupled with Arsenal’s well publicised struggles this season, means it’s little surprise that the Blues come into this one as the favourites to claim all three points. Lampard’s side are tight 27/20 favourites to get one over their London rivals, with Arsenal at 9/5 and the draw 27/10.
Arteta era to take flight at Emirates?
Had this match taken place a couple of weeks ago, then the 27/20 on Chelsea, while fairly short, might have looked like a bet worth taking. Now, however, and everything is looking a little rosier at Arsenal thanks to the appointment of Mikel Arteta as the club’s new manager.
He may not have started his tenure with the result he would have wanted, with Arsenal drawing 1-1 at Bournemouth on Thursday, but there were signs in that performance that the former Gunners player will be able to turn his side’s fortunes around.
Arsenal had 17 shots against Bournemouth, the most they have managed in a Premier League away game this season and more than they managed in their previous two league games combined. And following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser at the Vitality Stadium, the Gunners have now won 11 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
Arteta will see these as small building blocks to a brighter future and will be hopeful his side can continue their rebuilding process by putting in a positive display against Chelsea on Sunday.
Arsenal may have picked up just three wins from nine Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium this season, but expect to see a committed performance from them here in Arteta’s first home game, as well as a rousing atmosphere from the Gunners faithful for what will feel like the first time in months.
Add all of the above together and this could well make for a hugely competitive contest, which means the draw looks like it could be the way to go. Arsenal have struggled with defending all season, while Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in the Premier League away from home this term. The draw and both teams to score at 3/1, therefore, looks the game’s best bet and one worth pursuing.