Arsenal take on Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Boxing Day in a 5:30pm kick-off.
The Gunners are looking to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone after a dismal run of two points from their last seven matches, while Chelsea would move back into the top four with a win.
The Blues are odds-on 10/11 favourites to win the match, with the draw 13/5 and an Arsenal win 3/1.
Given Arsenal’s wretched form of late I think these prices are about fair, but personally I’m in no rush to back Chelsea in what is still likely to be a tight game, especially with Reece James and Ben Chilwell likely to be unavailable due to injury for the visitors.
I do fancy Frank Lampard’s side to at least score, though, with Arsenal yet to keep a clean sheet at home in the league this season, so I will add Over 0 Goals for Chelsea as a starting point for our Bet Builder.
I’m also keen on backing Arsenal to receive 2+ cards, with Mikel Arteta’s side doing so in eight of their last nine league games, and seven of Chelsea’s last nine Premier League opponents receiving 2+ cards.
Michael Oliver officiates this clash and he has shown each side two or more cards in three of his last four Premier League games, so he clearly isn’t too shy in terms of producing cards at the moment.
Six of the last 12 meetings between these London rivals, meanwhile, have seen both teams shown two or more cards each, so hopefully the Gunners won’t disappoint in this regard.
To bring our Bet Builder above evens, I’m also going to back Arteta’s side to earn 3+ corners. Chelsea’s last nine Premier League matches have all seen both teams have three or more corners each, with the same occurring in nine of Arsenal’s last 10 league games.
If you’re looking for a bigger price, 2+ cards for each team, 4+ corners for each team and 1+ Chelsea goal is 4/1.
Bet365 are offering a free bet in-play on this game providing you stake a certain amount on the match before kick-off (check your account for your personal T&C’s), so hopefully we can land a winner with whichever Builder you prefer to provide some free fun.
I tend to go for an in-play Bet Builder featuring cards, goalscorers etc with the free bet in an attempt for a big return, but obviously it’s entirely up to you how you choose to use the free bet. If you get more than the paltry £5 I receive these days, selecting a First Goalscorer is always a fun play.
There’s quite a bit of uncertainty regarding team news on this game, which makes it quite hard to pick players out to be carded. Granit Xhaka is an obvious candidate if he is chosen from the start by Arteta upon his return from suspension, while Jorginho started in the win against West Ham on Monday, but Matteo Kovacic may be preferred having impressed from the bench in that game.
I’m definitely looking towards central midfielders in this game as booking candidates. Kovacic was sent off in the FA Cup Final between these sides in August, with Dani Ceballos booked at Wembley on that day, while the likes of Jorginho, Xhaka, Ngolo Kante, Mohamed Elneny and Mason Mount have all been cautioned more than once in this fixture in the past.
Kante has been booked four times in his last nine starts for club and country, with Elneny booked in three of his last four starts in all competitions, so given both midfielders are primarily in the side for their ability to disrupt the opposition, 30/1 (Betfair) looks a massive price for both to be carded if both start.