Chelsea are looking to continue their winning run when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The Blues cruised to a 6-0 victory over Qarabag in the Champions League in midweek, making it four straight wins for Antonio Conte’s men. Given how they bounced back from adversity to record a 13 game winning run last term, could they be about to go on a similar run? With the Gunners up next, the champions will be out to strengthen their top four credentials, while they’ll be looking to keep pace with both Man City and Man United.
The Gunners aren’t in such a good position, despite Chelsea being in crisis after their loss to Arsenal at Wembley in August. Arsene Wenger guided his men to the Community Shield and an opening day win, but after two defeats already in the league his side are struggling. With a title challenge looking unlikely from Wenger’s men, they’ll be desperate to at least return to the top four this term. Winning at Stamford Bridge would be a huge boost to their Champions League hopes, but that’s a tall ask for the visitors, who have an awful record here.
Team News: Starters likely to return to the fold
Antonio Conte made plenty of changes ahead of their Champions League return against Qarabag, which didn’t seem to hamper the Blues. A 6-0 win came without starting Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, so the champions should have their top stars rested ahead of this huge clash. With Arsenal looking shaky, playing a full strength side with a week’s break is a huge way to capitalise. Given how Chelsea performed last season with a week in between games, we think a fully rested side should do well. The only big question for Conte here is if Victor Moses returns to the side, given how well Davide Zappacosta fared on his debut at right-wing back.
Arsenal head into this game with most of their top stars back from injury. They started the campaign with some problems, but they’re almost back to full strength after four games. The Gunners are likely to line up in a 3-4-3 formation, the one that Wenger turned to after Conte’s success with it last term. We expect the Gunners to take basically the same team which beat Bournemouth 3-0 at the weekend.
Arsenal’s season has seen two awful defeats sandwiched between home victories. The Gunners opened up with a win over Leicester, while they easily saw off Bournemouth at the Emirates. However, trips to Stoke and Liverpool have seen them lose without scoring a goal, so they have to be worried about this trip to Stamford Bridge. Can Arsene Wenger’s side turn their form around with a victory on Sunday?
Their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool doesn’t suggest that they can do that. That loss was the latest that Arsenal suffered away to a top side. Their record against the rest of the elite away wasn’t great, in fact Arsenal won just one of their away trips to the top 10 last season. That awful run in likely to continue when they head to the champions, who had an incredible record in front of their own fans last season.
Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head
Chelsea have a mixed record against the Gunners of late. We’ve left out the Blues’ 3-0 summer friendly win over Arsenal, with Wenger’s side having the edge in recent meetings. The last two clashes have both come at Wembley, with Arsenal lifting trophies at Chelsea’s expense on each occasion. The Blues have won their last five at home to Arsenal, so there’s a clear advantage when these two meet at the Bridge. Will that carry on this weekend?
- Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea, Aug 2017
- Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, May 2017
- Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal, Feb 2017
- Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sept 2016
- Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea, Jan 2016
- Chelsea to win to nil – 27/10 with BetVictor
- Chelsea to win 2-0 – 10/1 with Bet365
Chelsea head into this game as the clear favourites, but their price of 4/5 with Ladbrokes seems fair. There’s certainly value in that bet, but we think we’ve found a couple of bigger prices to take advantage of this weekend. We’re certainly avoiding the draw at 11/4 with Betfred, while Arsenal look far too short at 7/2 with Betfair. Given how poor the Gunners have been at this ground, it’s hard to justify backing anything in their favour. After a poor start away from home this term, we are likely to see Arsenal struggle when they head across London this weekend.
Chelsea have restored their defensive record with two straight home wins to nil. Given Arsenal’s failure to score on the road, we can see a clean sheet for the champions this weekend. The Blues have captain Gary Cahill back, and they have numbers to rotate defensively and that should help them going forward. With plenty of options, Conte should have a strong backline coming into this side, while we could see Tiemoue Bakayoko and N’Golo Kante screening in midfield. Given that defensive strength, we think a win to nil for the champions is great value. It can be backed at a huge 27/10 with BetVictor.
Chelsea have scored at least twice in their last seven home league matches. They’ve hit at least two in their last six home games against Arsenal, and in every Premier League match this term. It’s hard to see much more than a 2-0 win for the home side, who are looking to limit themselves with a busy schedule coming this month. After a 2-0 win at home to Everton in their last game at this ground, we’re backing the same scoreline at the Bridge this weekend. That also looks like a big price, at 10/1 with Bet365.