The Premier League 'Super Sunday' kicks off with a tasty London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal from Stamford Bridge in the lunchtime kick-off. All of the pressure is on Chelsea and their manager Rafa Benitez as the dissenting voices at the Bridge get ever louder following their stunning collapse against Southampton in mid-week.
Chelsea had held a comfortable 2-0 lead against the Saints on Wednesday before throwing it away and eventually drawing 2-2. They now sit 13 points behind Manchester United at the top of the table and their title hopes would be all but over with defeat this weekend. The Blues do start 5/6 favourites but Arsenal have an impressive record at the Bridge and can be backed at 10/3, while the draw is 5/2 with PaddyPower.
The draw with Southampton extended Chelsea's dismal record at home this season and the boos from the stands look to be having an effect on the team. There is no doubt that Benitez in an unpopular choice as manager and it is fair to say his side are struggling with the pressure on home soil, which is highlighted by the fact they have won their last six in a row away from home.
They have now won just one of six domestic league games at Stamford Bridge with Benitez at the helm though and that sole victory came courtesy of an 8-0 dismantling of a woeful Aston Villa. Their last three at home have seen them lose to QPR and Swansea, as well as draw with Southampton, which hardly inspires confidence this weekend.
Demba Ba has been one bright spot for them since his arrival from Newcastle and he has surely pushed Fernando Torres a little closer to the exit door. Ba has scored three goals in four appearances for the Blues and he is 7/2 favourite to be first goalscorer in the latest betting with paddypower, who are offering to refund all losing first scorer, last scorer, correct score and scorecast single bets on the match if Ba scores last.
Ba has the potential to emulate Didier Drogba in this Chelsea v Arsenal fixture as Drogba used to terrorise the Gunners defence. Ba scored two against Arsenal when playing for Newcastle in their 7-3 defeat the Emirates a few weeks ago and he will have to be in top form if Chelsea are to avoid defeat this weekend.
The Gunners have been infuriatingly inconsistent of late as they went down 2-0 at Manchester City last Sunday before picking up a much-needed 1-0 win over Swansea in the FA Cup on Wednesday night. Jack Wilshere's goal gave them their first win in four and they will hope to build on that result.
In fairness to Arsene Wenger's side, they have only lost four of 17 matches on their travels this season and they have conceded just nine of 24 league goals away from home. Santi Cazorla continues to pull the strings from midfield and he is a tempting 14/1 to score first after notching seven goals this season.
Cazorla could be a key man this weekend and he could help Arsenal towards a positive result. They won 5-3 in last season's league match at Stamford Bridge and they have won at this ground more times than any other top-flight side (7). PaddyPower offer 10/11 for an Arsenal win or draw in the 'double chance' market as the Gunners look to cause Benitez and Chelsea yet more home woe.
Chelsea v Arsenal Form
Check the season's statistics for both Chelsea and Arsenal, plus the odds ahead of Sunday's match.
Chelsea v Arsenal Tips
Tip #1: Double chance of an Arsenal win or draw @ 10/11 with PaddyPower.
Tip #2: 1-1 correct score @ 6/1 with PaddyPower.
Tip #3: Santi Cazorla to score first @ 12/1 with PaddyPower.
Correct Score Odds
7/1 Chelsea 1-0
17/2 Chelsea 2-0
13/2 Chelsea 2-1
11/1 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
11/1 Draw 2-2
13/1 Arsenal 1-0
22/1 Arsenal 2-0
12/1 Arsenal 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
7/2 Demba Ba
9/2 Fernando Torres
7/1 Frank Lampard
7/1 Juan Mata
15/2 Theo Walcott
8/1 Olivier Giroud
9/1 Eden Hazard
9/1 Lukas Podolski
10/1 No Goalscorer
12/1 Santi Cazorla
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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