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…
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.
Are you having a bet on the big Saturday lunch-time game?
1. Place a bet of £/€20 or more in-play on Chelsea v Arsenal (KO 12:30) on Saturday 4th February at minimum odds of 1/2. You will then receive a free in-play bet of £/€10 to redeem on Man City v Swansea (Sunday 5th February, 13:30).
2. In-play bets that are Cashed Out will not qualify for the offer.
3. Provided you place a Single in-play bet of £/€20 or more on Chelsea v Arsenal which meets the qualifying criteria, you will then receive the £/€10 free bet, regardless of other in-play bets placed on the game.
4. Offer is available to new and existing MOBILE OR TABLET CUSTOMERS ONLY. Offer does NOT apply to customers betting online, through sms, via telephone or to shop customers.
5. Only one in-play free bet value issued of £/€10. One per customer.
6. The £/€10 free bet will be paid into your account at the kick-off of Man City v Swansea.
7. You must be aged 18 years or over to bet and participate in this promotion.
8. Void bets do not count.
9. Bets placed with Free Bets do not count towards the offer.
10. Free Bets can be redeemed through Online, Mobile or Telebetting.
11. The Free Bet can only be redeemed on an in-play bet on Man City v Swansea on Sunday 5th February.
12. Free Bets must be used in their entirety as a Win Single and cannot be split into multiple stakes. A Free Bet cannot be partially redeemed. If you attempt to place a bet for a lesser total stake than the value of your Free Bet, the remaining value of the Free Bet will be void.
13. Free Bets are non-refundable. Stakes will not be returned on winning bets placed with Free Bets.
14. Free Bets cannot be redeemed on any other online product or event including other Football events.
15. Redeemed Free Bets will not count toward qualification to view streamed events.
16. Free Bets do not count towards qualifying for any other promotional offers.
17. Bets placed on Ladbrokes Exchange do not qualify for the promotion.
18. Ladbrokes reserves the right, at its discretion, to exclude individual customers from this and other promotions, including money back and Free Bet offers.
19. Ladbrokes accepts no responsibility for system or connection problems that might affect any end user during the promotion.
20. Offer is open to customers living in the UK and Republic of Ireland only.
21. Ladbrokes may determine at its sole discretion whether it believes different entries or accounts are connected to the same person, using whatever methods it deems appropriate.
22. In the event of a breach of these terms and conditions, Ladbrokes reserves the right to take such action as it deems appropriate in its absolute discretion.
23. The promoter is Ladbrokes Sportsbook LP, a limited partnership registered in Gibraltar, number 44, whose registered office is 57/63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar.
Click here for full terms and conditions on this offer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing