Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes have started to diminish though the ailing Gunners will be determined to keep Man City honest by beating London rivals Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium this evening.
Mikel Arteta’s challengers have gone four games without tasting victory in the top flight and their 4-1 annihilation at the hands of defending champions City in last week’s top-of-the-table showdown would have put a massive dent in their confidence. Chelsea meanwhile, are lurching from crisis to crisis, and after a run of six defeats in seven, the Blues will kick-off today’s contest as big underdogs.
Below, I’ve compiled a stats pack for this evening’s clash in the capital which contains enough info to equip you will everything you need to conquer the bet builder markets. Take a glance at my Stats Pack Guide if you need some extra pointers.
Mikel Arteta has relatively few injury concerns to contend with at present in terms of overall numbers, though the absence of centre-half William Saliba has been hard felt and the Frenchman will be a big miss again today. Back-up options Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny are also in the treatment room.
Arteta isn’t expected to spring any tactical surprises against Chelsea today and Arsenal’s usual front four should start with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka offering support and protection from midfield.
Frank Lampard’s team selections since his return to Chelsea have courted criticism from some quarters, though the Blues’ interim boss could plump for pragmatism and energy again at The Emirates Stadium.
With Reece James out, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will battle it out for the right wing-back slot, while Trevoh Chalobah should start as part of a three-man defence again. Conor Gallagher will hope to keep his place in midfield, while Mykhalio Mudryk will have his eye on a rare starting berth further forward.
Arsenal have been ranking well for goals (2.36), shots (15.88), shots on target (5.03) and xG (1.95) for per 90 this season thanks to their incredibly productive front four, though their defensive standards have fallen off a cliff of late.
The Gunners have conceded 11 times in their last four league assignments, giving up a hefty 9.5 in xG against in the process. Despite their downturn in performances and results, Arsenal have been maintaining their discipline and they picked up just two cards in total in their last two fixtures against West Ham and Man City. Chelsea are priced at 8/11 to collect more cards than their hosts today.
Chelsea’s problems in the final third have been well documented this season and only four clubs – three of which are in the relegation zone – have been scoring fewer goals per 90 (0.94) than the Blues. Chelsea have been underperforming against their xG (1.27), though they still rank in the league’s bottom half for that metric.
Defensively, Chelsea haven’t been conceding a truckload and as a consequence, 11 of their last 14 top-tier tussles have gone under 2.5 goals. A similar outcome today could net you a winner at 21/20. Just a single goal hit the net when Chelsea lost to Arsenal in November in a tense contest that produced seven bookings (Chelsea five, Arsenal two).
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Arsenal’s frontline was starved of service against Man City last week, though the Gunners’ spring-heeled quartet mustered 14 attempts between them in the Londoners’ last home game against Southampton.
In the markets, Bukayo Saka, who has been clocking 0.74 shots on target, looks like excellent value at 4/9 in the 1+ SOT range, while Norwegian schemer Martin Odegaard, who has finished with a shot on target in three of his last four starts, is 4/7 in the same arena.
Chelsea racked up 15 attempts in their last outing against Brentford (0-2), however just four of those efforts found their mark and two of those strikes were provided by second-half substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
A run through the individual shots on target per 90 figures in the Blues ranks makes for uninspiring reading, though N’Golo Kante does catch the eye at even money to have one or more shots at The Emirates Stadium. The bustling French midfielder has been pushed further forward since Frank Lampard’s re-arrival and Kante had three attempts against Brentford last week.
Player Goals and Assists
Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard are battling it out to be Arsenal’s leading marksman in the Premier League this season, though winger Saka’s affinity for producing match-defining moments at The Emirates Stadium means he deserves more attention than his teammates today.
Of the 13 goals and 11 assists the 21-year-old has lodged this season, nine and seven respectively have been notched on home soil. In total, 66.6% of his goal contributions this term have come at The Emirates Stadium and Saka is a good price at 4/5 to either score or create another goal this evening when Chelsea cross the capital.
Chelsea have rattled the net just once in their last seven matches in all competitions, while the Blues have also drawn a blank in four of their last five assignments in the Premier League. That dismal record makes picking out any goal-scoring candidates for your bet builder a bit of a futile exercise.
Raheem Sterling (four goals) could be the “most prolific” player in the Chelsea XI this evening, though the 28-year-old hasn’t registered in the Premier League since January 1st (vs Forest). It’s best to look the other way here.
Arsenal rank second behind Man City for average possession per game this season, though the Gunners have been the Premier League’s top dogs for ball control at home (65.0%) and they will expect to call the shots against Chelsea later today.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (72.6 passes p/90) should see plenty of action again today, as should fellow defender Rob Holding (68.7) and those backline members are interesting prospects at 4/11 in the 70+ passes market against the Blues.
Enzo Fernandez (81.6) is generally at the heart of all of Chelsea’s on-the-deck football and the silky Argentinean has played more than 70 passes in seven of his last nine appearances in all competitions. The 22-year-old is backable at 4/6 to beat the same target today.
Experienced campaigner, Thiago Silva (77.3 p/90), has also cleared 70 passes in five of his last six Premier League starts and the veteran, who is still one of the first names on the Chelsea team sheet, is 1/2 to play 70 or more passes again at The Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal Cards and Fouls
Arsenal don’t tend to collect many cards, though tactical fouling and intense pressing from the front are both key tenets of Mikel Arteta’s playbook, so watch out for moments of cynicism from the Gunners today.
Bukayo Saka (1.23 fouls p/90) and Gabriel Jesus (1.66) both love to nibble at their marker’s ankles, and at 2/5 and 8/11 in the 1+ and 2+ fouls ranges today, there is value on offer for either. Rob Holding meanwhile, who can look a little static and awkward against pacey forwards, could be worth a look at 4/9 to sin at least once later on. The 27-year-old has committed at least one foul in three of his last four league starts.
Left wing-back Ben Chilwell, who has been fouled 1.45 times per 90 this season, shares a flank with England teammate Bukayo Saka today in a head-to-head that could develop into a tetchy confrontation. Cultured French centre-half Wesley Fofana has been drawing plenty of fouls this term (1.86) and the 22-year-old’s tally should rise when thrown into battle against the combative Gabriel Jesus.
Raheem Sterling (1.57) is equipped with the kind of pace and dribbling technique (4.48 dribbles per/90) that Rob Holding tends to struggle against. Fouls could be the order of the day there.
Match-Ups to watch
Bukayo Saka vs Ben Chilwell
Gabriel Jesus vs Wesley Fofana
Rob Holding vs Raheem Sterling
Chelsea Cards and Fouls
With four yellow cards in his last six starts in all comps, Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic is worth tracking in the cautions arena today. No Chelsea player has collected more bookings in the Premier League this term than the 28-year-old and Kovacic is priced at 5/2 to see yellow again this evening.
As the widest members of Chelsea’s back three, Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah could be isolated in some awkward one-on-one gripes with Arsenal’s menacing wingers. Both defenders are excellent coupon-padding options at 4/7 and 3/10 in the 1+ fouls stakes respectively.
Bukayo Saka (1.78) has been one of Arsenal’s most-fouled forwards this season and the 21-year-old’s skillset and acceleration could put Trevoh Chalboah on the back foot, if and when the former gets past Ben Chilwell.
On the opposite side, Gabriel Martinelli (1.15) can test Wesley Fofana’s mettle with his blend of speed and trickery. In midfield, Granit Xhaka (1.31) is always up for a skirmish and his tussles with Mateo Kovacic could put both on referee Rob Jones’s radar.
Match-Ups to watch
Mateo Kovacic vs Granit Xhaka
Wesley Fofana vs Gabriel Martinelli
Trevoh Chalobah vs Bukayo Saka
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Using the stats, I’ve put together my own Arsenal vs Chelsea bet builder. Feel free to pick your own selections or add any of mine into your betslip, which you can do below.
Arsenal vs Chelsea
Frank Lampard has now lost his first 5 matches since taking over again as caretaker manager.
He has also taken charge of this exact fixture at the Emirates back in 2020, where he lost 3-1. Laca, Xhaka, and Saka getting on the scoresheet for the Gunners.
Chelsea’s season is over, sitting in the bottom half, but still pretty much safe from the drop.
Arsenal must win to stand any chance of keeping their faint hopes of a first Premier League title in 20 years alive.
Arsenal’s record against Chelsea is very impressive, with not only a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture this season, but 5 wins in the last 6 meetings.
Arsenal’s corner stats are good reading.
They average 5.85 corners per game, but this increases massively to 7.06 at the Emirates.
Chelsea concede 4.93 per game on their travels.
Back in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal managed 6 corners, with Gabriel of course scoring from one of them.
Going back to this game in 2020 of Arteta vs Lamaprd on Arsenal’s turf, they managed 7 corners.
Arsenal corners in last 5 home games: 7, 4, 5, 17, 5
Beginning with the referee is always a good start for a cards bet. The ref tonight, Robert Jones, averages 4.23 cards per game in the Premier League this season.
Then we look at both teams’ averages. Arsenal force their opposition into an average of 2.30 cards per game.
Chelsea themselves average 2.28 cards received per game as well.
This average increases to 2.33 when they’re away from home.
Under Lampard, they’ve received 13 cards in just 5 games – an average of 2.60 cards per game.
This selection has returned in 4 of those 5 games.
This is always a head to head that gets feisty too, just look at the last meeting back in November. There were 7 cards of which 5 of them were brandished to Chelsea players.
In fact, there’s been 8 Chelsea cards in the last 2 meetings.
Thomas Partey’s performance against City drew many critics.
He made Kevin de Bruyne look quick, with his slow reactions as well as effort to track back.
This has happened on multiple occasions this season where he doesn’t put the effort in to track a player and instead just brings them down.
That resulted in 3 fouls and a booking against City.
He’s in fact managed 2 or more fouls in each of his last 4 appearances.
Partey fouls in last 5 games: 3, 2, 2, 2, 1.
He averages 1.35 fouls p/90 and has received 4 cards this season.
Up against Chelsea I think he’ll have similar struggles with Chelsea playing on the break.
Mykhailo Mudryk draws 1.67 fouls p/90 and attempts 5.93 take-ons p/90. When he makes those runs from deep, he will undoubtedly beat Partey for pace and so will need brought down.
Then you have Mateo Kovacic who will play deeper and make box t box runs. He’s drawn at least 1 foul in 5 of his last 6 Premier League outings, and drew 4 against Real Madrid.