2nd Jan 2018 | Premier League
Arsene Feels The Injustice
The late controversial penalty conceded at West Brom was the last thing Wenger needed. It could prove the start of a costly week.
I must admit to being surprised to see Chelsea backed as strong favourites at the Emirates by most bookies, but they are probably right. Luckily Betfred think it’s a close call and we can get 13/8 on the champions which tempts me in.
In a ‘normal’ phase of the season I would be backing at least a draw here, particularly given Arsenal’s strong home record, but the festive scheduling has gone against the hosts and that could prove a telling difference.
The Gunners played out a gruelling 3-3 draw with Liverpool on 22 December and then had a gap. That may have helped them win 3-2 at Selhurst Park on 28 December but then 3 days later they had another tough away test, drawing 1-1 at WBA.
Compare that to Chelsea who have had a great time of things since drawing 0-0 at Goodison Park before Christmas. The home win against Brighton on Boxing Day was routine and the 5-0 demolition of Stoke, again at Stamford Bridge, on Saturday allowed Conte to rest Hazard and take off Kante and Morata nice and early.
They come into this London derby with an extra recovery day and their recent matches have taken little out of them. Conte even has the bonus that 3 players he drafted in for Stoke - Pedro, Willian and Drinkwater - all scored. There’s competition for places and some fresh legs.
Arsenal have already suffered damaging defeats to Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd this season and I fear Chelsea may soon be added to that list.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 08:30 2nd Jan, 2018 but subject to change