Chelsea v Arsenal: Away day could be blessing in disguise for Gunners

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Arsenal dropped points at the Emirates for the fourth time in 12 games this season earlier this week. And with a crucial clash against Chelsea to come this weekend, the last thing the Gunners would have wanted would have been to play this match in front of 60,000 angry supporters.

Though their record at Stamford Bridge doesn’t bode well for their chances of winning this match (they’ve taken just seven points from a possible 30 in their last 10 league visits), the pressure is actually off Arsene Wenger’s side in this fixture.

Now nine points behind the Blues who currently lead the way in the Premier League, it’s unlikely the Gunners can catch Antonio Conte’s men – even if they were to win this weekend.

With that in mind, you’d expect the north London outfit to go out and play their natural game at the Bridge, rather than play under the pressure of how important a win could be.

Does that mean the value here is in backing the visitors at 3/1?

It’s a big ask to go and take a point – let alone three – from Chelsea at home. Only one side has taken anything from their visit to west London this season, that side being Liverpool who ran out 2-1 winners back in September.

Putting that result to one side, the rest of their home results look like this…

Played 10, won 10, scored 29, conceded four.

That’s just shy of three goals scored per game, and in Arsenal, they face a side who’ve conceded in 21 of their 34 games in all competitions this season.

But Arsenal are equally as dangerous going forward. In fact, only Liverpool have scored more than the Gunners’ 51 strikes.

With that in mind, the 8/11 on offer for both teams to score looks incredibly tempting.

Arsenal have lost their ability to fly out of the traps in recent months, something which has caused them to drop points against the likes of Bournemouth and Watford since the turn of the year.

And although Wenger’s men hit Chelsea for two within 15 minutes in the reverse fixture last September, we’d be amazed if the Gunners managed to pull off that kind of performance again.

It’s more likely that the hosts will open the scoring, as they have done in 10 of their last 11 games, and 4/6 says they make it 11 in 12.

And there’s only one name we’d be looking at to open the scoring…

Diego Costa.

It’s something he’s done on eight occasions already this season, and an early goal would put him ahead of Alexis Sanchez in the race for the Golden Boot.

It’ll come as no surprise to see Costa as the 7/2 favourite in the first goalscorer market.

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.