Chelsea’s grip on the Premier League tightened during midweek despite having dropped points at Anfield - Manchester City were the only side to take advantage with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur only managing draws. Antonio Conte’s cautious tactics are likely to continue when Arsenal, who trail the Blues by nine points, visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Gunners’ poor form makes a home win seem highly likely, all-but confirming that the title will return to west London in May. Chelsea to win is available to back at 2.03*.
Arsenal (4.06*) haven’t beaten their rivals at Stamford Bridge since October 2011 and there is little reason to assume this record will be broken this weekend. Chelsea have won eight consecutive home matches in the Premier League, while Arsenal have won only one of their last four away from the Emirates.
What’s more, Arsene Wenger’s side were beaten 2-1 by Watford on Tuesday to put the title beyond their reach, meaning morale in the dressing room is likely to be low.
Chelsea were notably more defensive in midweek, sitting deep and absorbing Liverpool’s possession comfortably. Arsenal, who are low energy on the road, will struggle to break through that compact 5-4-1 shape – particularly given that the Gunners predominantly attack through the middle - where Chelsea’s defence is strongest.
Conte’s team should flourish on the counter. Willian and Eden Hazard are employed as inside forwards and thus counter-attack in central areas - this is something that will prove problematic for the unreliable duo of Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin.
These two were easily outmuscled by Etienne Capoue on Tuesday evening; it is easy to envisage Hazard tearing through the middle, while N’Golo Kante – who made an extraordinary 14 tackles against Liverpool – should dominate the park. Should you see another draw coming for Chelsea, the draw is currently priced at 3.57*.
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