Premier League leaders Arsenal face a major test of their title-winning aspirations today when they cross London to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Gunners have won on each of their last two visits to that blue-clad venue, though they will need to snap Graham Potter’s unbeaten home record this afternoon to make it a hat trick of successive victories at the Bridge.
Below, you can immerse yourself in our stats pack for today’s London derby which is jam-packed with tasty statistical morsels about cards, corners, shots, xG, fouls and more from the teams’ domestic seasons. Our data and my Stats Pack Guide should aid your quest to pick a winning bet builder today.
Ben Chilwell joined Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Reece James on the sidelines when he picked up a hamstring injury in midweek and the England defender is set to miss the World Cup after his muscle tear.
Mateo Kovacic and Denis Zakaria picked up knocks in midweek, though both midfielders should be able to shake them off in time to feature today.
Matt Turner and Emile Smith-Rowe are both absent for Arsenal, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is a major doubt after he came off after just 15 minutes against Zurich on Thursday.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bukayo Saka are back in training though neither player made the Gunners’ squad on Thursday evening.
Graham Potter endured a nightmarish return to the Amex Stadium last weekend when the Chelsea boss watched as his new Blues were torn to shreds by his old charges at Brighton (4-1).
Chelsea conceded 19 shots against the Seagulls last week – the most they’ve faced in a single game since Potter took the reins. The Blues did win seven corners against Albion having averaged just 3.0 per game in their five Premier League matches under Potter before that, however.
Arsenal are in first place in the Premier League, though they rank second in the division for goals for (2.50 p/90) and third for shots mustered (16.00 p/90) behind Man City and Liverpool respectively.
The Gunners have also been doing some excellent work defensively and only Manchester City can best them this season for xG against and shots against per 90. Arsenal have collected six fewer cards than Chelsea overall since the summer.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Kai Havertz (2.25 shots p/90) led the line for Chelsea at Brighton last week. The German had four shots and notched a consolation for the Blues, so expect him to feature from the start today.
Havertz could form part of a front three alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (1.85 shots p/90) and Raheem Sterling (1.88) this afternoon and all three players are worth pricing in the shots market today. Aubameyang, of course, has an extra incentive to perform against his old club.
Arsenal’s fab front four were all heavily involved in last weekend’s thumping 5-0 win against Nottingham Forest and Jesus, Martinelli, Odegaard and Saka racked up 13 attempts between them in the one-sided mauling.
Bukayo Saka is a slight doubt today, however, Brazilians Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli represent excellent primary options in the shot markets for the Gunners today, with Norwegian Odegaard an excellent alternative at longer odds.
Chelsea struggled to get to grips with Brighton’s Leandro Trossard (six shots) last week and today, Odegaard could drift into the same dangerous spaces the Belgian exploited.
Player Goals and Assists
Kai Havertz converted his third Premier League goal of the season for Chelsea against Brighton last week, putting him level with Raheem Sterling at the top of the club’s scoring charts in the division.
Havertz (four) is still one behind Sterling (five) in all competitions after the latter notched against Dinamo Zagreb in midweek. Two of Chelsea’s three leading assist makers in the league this term are defenders (Cucurella x2, Thiago Silva x2), with Mason Mount completing the set from midfield.
Gabriel Jesus grabbed his fourth and fifth Premier League assists of the campaign against Forest last weekend, though the Brazilian forward has gone eight appearances in all competitions without finding the net himself.
Martinelli did register against Forest and he’s now tied with Jesus as the club’s leading scorer in the league. Youngster Reiss Nelson plundered two goals and an assist off the bench in the same game, though he is unlikely to see minutes today.
Several attack-minded players dominate the cards metrics for Chelsea in the Premier League this term, though it makes more sense to pick through the Blues’ defensive options for card candidates today.
Jorginho (two cards) should have work to tackle through at the base of Chelsea’s midfield, while behind him, veterans César Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva – who are a combined age of 71 – could find it tough to cope with Arsenal’s youthful forward line.
Granit Xhaka (fouled 1.02 times per 90) has been revelling in a more advanced role this season and the midfielder’s marauding runs could take him into areas patrolled by Jorginho today.
On the flank, Gabriel Martinelli (fouled 1.44 times per 90) has the quickness of foot and thought to terrorise Azpilicueta, while Gabriel Jesus (fouled 2.78 times per 90) will enjoy being a needle in compatriot Thiago Silva’s side.
Match-Ups to watch
Jorginho vs Granit Xhaka
César Azpilicueta vs Gabriel Martinelli
Thiago Silva vs Gabriel Jesus
William Saliba (four cards) has emerged as a reliable contender in the card markets for Arsenal this term and the 21-year-old’s inexperience could be used against him by a more battle-hardened set of Chelsea forwards today.
Martin Odegaard (two cards) knows how to crank up the aggression when needed in midfield, while Ben White (two cards), who has been averaging more tackles per league game (2.2) than any other Gunner, should be forced to keep his tally high today.
The majority of Chelsea’s most-fouled players in the Premier League this season didn’t make the cut in our predicted Blue XI for this afternoon, though there are still some options worth picking out as candidates to draw cards elsewhere.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be more energetic than usual today against his old employers and he can time his runs to unsettle the impetuous William Saliba.
Mason Mount (fouled 1.2 times per game) could have his toes stepped on by Odegaard in the midfield skirmishes while Raheem Sterling (fouled 1.1 times per game) has the technical skills to draw mistimed tackles from Ben White.
Match-Ups to watch
William Saliba vs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Martin Odegaard vs Jorginho
Ben White vs Raheem Sterling
My Stats Pack Picks
I’ve crunched the numbers and these look like some cracking picks for a Bet Builder. Feel free to use it as inspiration when creating your own.
Back it on Betfair and you’ll get 4/1 on these selections.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea have scored in all 5 home games this season
Arsenal have scored in every home and away game this season
Goals for: 1.42
Goals against: 1.25
xG for: 1.67
xG against: 1.51
Goals for: 2.50
Goals against: 0.92
xG for: 2.07
xG against: 1.13
Odegaard averages 2.61 shots and 1.00 shots on target per game
Arsenal average 5 shots on target per game
Jesus has scored 5 times this season – Joint highest Arsenal goal scorer
Jesus has assisted his team mates 5 times this season
Arsenal average 2.5 goals per game
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