With the season quickly falling apart for Chelsea and Arsenal, both will be desperate for a positive result to help end the season on a high note when they meet this Tuesday. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for this big-name London clash.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea Odds
Arsenal are favored at home, with -170 odds to win compared to +330 for the draw, and Chelsea’s line of +475. For a goalscoring total of 2.5, the over is -135 while the under is +110.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea Prediction & Pick
What started as a charmed season for Arsenal has become a disaster. They’ve crashed out of the Europa league and both domestic cups, and are on the verge of completing a historically-epic collapse in the Prem.
The good news is that they recently snapped their 3-game draw streak in the league- the bad is that they did so by losing to Man City in a game that should all but wrap up the league race.
For Chelsea, things unraveled far earlier, but their current form is even more shocking than what they’ve shown all year. Amidst a revolving door of managers, they’ve lost their past 3 matches in the league, and haven’t won any of their past 6.
All trophies domestic and continental are off the table, as is European qualification; the only race they haven’t mathematically exited is the relegation battle, although their odds of moving down are infinitesimally small.
Neither team is coming into this match in particularly good form, but there are obviously very talented players on both sides so we could be in for an interesting match. That being said, things have been rough for both teams but not equally rough; there’s a clear side in this one, and that’s Arsenal, especially at their stadium.
These sides have both been amongst the best defensive sides in England this year, so I’m not quite sure why the over is favored, even with star Arsenal defender William Saliba sidelined. I’m soundly favoring the under, it’s excellent value in plus-money
Picks: Arsenal ML (-170), u2.5 goals +110
Even in their recent slide, Arsenal haven’t defended as well as usual but they have been able to put the ball in the net pretty often. Meanwhile Chelsea have only picked up a lone goal in their past 5 league matches, but have been limiting opponents as well. Let’s take a look at how these strengths and weaknesses will clash, and how the midfield might be able to take the pressure off of either unit.
The Midfield Battle
At most points throughout their recent struggles, Arsenal have still been getting pretty good performances out of their midfield, which was also the heart of the successes they had earlier in the campaign. Few fans would argue that Arsenal’s best player is a midfielder; the biggest debate might be which one.
New captain Martin Ødegaard has been one of those players in what has become a real breakout season, as he’s third on the club in both goals and assists in the Premier League, despite not playing in a forward role.
Thomas Partey plays in a more holding role, so he doesn’t have gaudy stats, but anyone who’s watched this team will tell you that he is absolutely vital. The same goes, for a lesser extent, to the often-maligned Granit Xhaka, who has had something of a redemptive season in North London.
Despite failing to score too many goals, Chelsea have been pretty solid when it comes to possessing the football, courtesy of a talented midfield. Midseason addition Enzo Fernández, for one, has been very solid, putting together consistently strong performances since arriving at Stamford Bridge.
Of course, team legends N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic are still around, and we all know how many better days, to say the least, they’ve been a part of at Chelsea. Conor Gallagher has gotten a bunch of playing time as well this season, but he’s been struggling. He could conceivably be in a somewhat forward role in Chelsea’s midfield, and would need to contribute a strong performance to help his team secure a much-needed result.
Arsenal Attack vs. Chelsea Defense
As I’ve mentioned, Arsenal have done fine when it comes to scoring goals, which they’ll have to do against a tough Chelsea defense to pick up the home win. A player to watch will be Gabriel Jesus, as the striker was beginning to round back into form after returning from injury but he’s gone cold as of late
I mentioned that Ødegaard is third on the team goalscoring list- the top two is filled by Arsenal’s young attacking duo. Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli, leads the team with 15 league goals, while English talent Bukayo Saka has 13 and has also contributed 11 Prem assists, tops on the squad.
Leandro Trossard probably won’t start, but the Belgian winger, who came in the January window, is now second on the team with 8 assists in League play. He could be an important bench option, if the Gunners are in need of a late score.
As has been the case with much of the squad, Chelsea’s defense has been bit by the injury bug, with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Reece James, and Marc Cucurella all sidelined for varying lengths of time. With all of the injuries, squad selection from the remaining available players should be fairly straightforward.
Veteran centre-back Thiago Silva is still putting in solid outings, and should be flanked in a back 3 by youngsters Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana, the latter of whom has been particularly impressive. Chelsea have stacked a bunch of fullbacks, but with the injuries, it’s most likely going to be Ben Chilwell on the left and team captain César Azpilicueta on the right.
Amidst the team’s overall struggles, this defense has put in some nice performances; they’ll need another to pick up points on the road against a very tough Arsenal side.