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When Chelsea travelled to Anfield on Tuesday night their own fans were the only ones hoping the Blues would get the win. A victory for Chelsea could have taken them 11 points clear at the top of the table. Fans of teams in the chasing pack and neutrals were all hoping Liverpool could breathe new life into the title race but it wasn’t to be.
Liverpool battled back for a point from 1-0 down but it still a very good night for Chelsea thanks to Arsenal’s implosion at the Emirates.
The Gunners were borderline unbackable for their home game against Watford. However, with Arsene Wenger watching up in the stands due to his four-game touchline ban, Watford raced to a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes. Alex Iwobi pulled one back in the second half but Watford clung on for a win which leaves Arsenal having it all to do.
Chelsea can all but kill off Arsenal’s title challenge when they host Wenger’s men at Stamford Bridge early on Saturday afternoon. Arsenal have lost their last four matches at the Bridge but they blew Chelsea away 3-0 at the end of September so we could be in for a thrilling encounter in front of the TV cameras.
Chelsea 21/20 (Betfred)
Draw 5/2 (Sky Bet)
Arsenal 13/5 (Bet365)
It’s no surprise that Chelsea are the favourites for Saturday’s match but it is slightly surprising that you can back them as big as 21/20 with Betfred.
Liverpool’s win at Stamford Bridge is the only blot on the Chelsea’s copybook at home this season. Their 10 home wins from 11 games is impressive enough but the fact that seven of those victories included keeping a clean sheet tells you a great deal about the strength of Antonio Conte’s team.
They can be ruthless going forward and are perfectly capable of digging their heels in at the back when the opposition gets on the front font. It’s that combination of quality and tenacity which separates them from Arsenal. The Gunners have all the necessary quality but their stomach for the fight has long been called into question.
After that deeply disappointing result against Watford it is hard to see Arsenal battling back. The spring in Chelsea’s step looks set to get a lot bigger.
Draw 1-1 @ 13/2 (William Hill)
Chelsea 1-0 @ 8/1 (Bet365)
Chelsea 2-1 @ 17/2 (Bet365)
Chelsea 2-0 @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)
Draw 0-0 @ 17/2 (Winner)
Arsenal 2-1 @ 12/1 (bet365)
The most concerning thing for Arsenal fans in their increasingly forlorn hopes of winning the title is that they still have the other top four sides to play away from home. They also have only one point to show from their three games against the sides in fifth, sixth and seventh.
That adds yet more pressure on Saturday afternoon’s match.
Arsenal simply have to come out and look to take the game to Chelsea. If they sit back and allow the home side time on the ball, the Blues will pick Arsenal off and ride off into the sunset, ever closer to the league title.
So, it makes sense expect Arsenal to at least get onto the scoresheet if you are having a bet in the Correct Score market. In fact, the Gunners have failed to score in just two games all season. Chelsea do have a phenomenal defensive record but they are by no means infallible at the back.
All of the above makes the odds of 17/2 that Bet365 are quoting on the 2-1 correct score look quite tempting. Chelsea, looking for revenge, should get win but it’s unlikely to be a completely one-sided affair.
Diego Costa 7/2 (Sky Bet)
Eden Hazard 6/1 (Betfair)
Olivier Giroud 6/1 (William Hill)
Alexis Sanchez 6/1 (Sky Bet)
Michy Batshuayi 13/2 (Betfair)
Pedro 7/1 (Sky Bet)
Willian 15/2 (Sportingbet)
Danny Welbeck 8/1 (Paddy Power)
Just look at the list of players at the top of the bookies’ First Goalscorer markets. They’re all top class attacking players who (with the exception of Michy Batshuayi) have a genuine chance of starting the match.
Diego Costa will have more reason than most to want to get on the scoresheet having missed a crucial penalty at Anfield on Tuesday night. The Chelsea forward may not be at the club beyond the summer but he’s one of the most competitive players in the game who will be desperate to leave the Premier League on a high.
The bookies’ favourite at odds of 7/2, Costa looks a good option to open the scoring.
Chelsea to win at 21/20 with Betfred
2-1 correct score at 17/2 with Bet365