Arsenal v Chelsea Betting Tips & Predictions - Saturday 28th December 2019

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Saturday 28 December 2019
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Previous Match Tips

Both Chelsea and Arsenal must make a long 4,000km trip to Baku to take part in this Europa League final. UEFA’s decision to host such an important match in such a far-flung location has come under heavy fire, with players and fans alike showing their discontent. Such is the difficulty of getting there for most fans, both clubs only managed to sell half of their paltry 6,000 ticket allocation.

Don’t let UEFA’s poor decision making distract you from the intense football spectacle that will be on our screens this coming Wednesday though. A London derby in a European final is truly something to savour and the match does not look like disappointing. Chelsea have the superior pedigree with two European titles this decade but this is one less than Arsenal boss Unai Emery has managed.

Top Tips

Arsenal to lift the trophy @ 6/5

Both teams to score @ 4/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Chelsea News: Kante fitness fears eased

Chelsea Home Match Against Arsenal
Mark Freeman, flickr

Having recently seen Ruben Loftus-Cheek join Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger on the list of long-term absentees, Chelsea were in need of some good injury news. This they got as N’Golo Kante returned to full training alongside his teammates. The Frenchman’s involvement in the final had been under question due to a hamstring problem sustained earlier in the month but he has successfully shaken off the issue. Now back to full health, there seems little doubt that the former Leicester man will enjoy a sixth Europa League start.

Cech linked with Stamford Bridge return

In the build-up to this game, rumours intensified that Arsenal’s regular Europa League goalkeeper Petr Cech was lined up for a Chelsea return. It won’t be in a playing capacity with the 37-year-old already having announced his retirement but rather in a sporting director role. While the reports seem credible, they have fallen at quite the inappropriate time for Cech. Aware of the frustration this has caused Arsenal fans, he quickly insisted he has yet to make a decision regarding his future and is fully focussed on the upcoming final.

Sarri discusses future amid Juventus rumours

Responding to an increasing amount of speculation linking him to a move back to Italy, Maurizio Sarri insisted he is "very happy" at Chelsea. The 60-year-old was not so sure the feeling was mutual though as he told the press he will ask the club if they are happy with him. Any talk regarding his future will not talk place until after the final though with the Italian keen to avoid any distractions ahead of such a big game. Should this turn out to be his final one in charge of the Blues, club legend Frank Lampard stands at the odds-on favourite to take his place.

Arsenal News: Mkhitaryan to stay at home

Arsenal Home Game Against Chelsea
wonker, flickr

The decision to host the Europa League final in Baku only seems more ludicrous now that Henrik Mkhitaryan deemed it too unsafe to take part. His Armenian roots are the problem as Azerbaijan have long had a turbulent relationship with their neighbours. Azerbaijani officials have attempted to play down fears of any danger but the risk proved too high for the midfielder. Arsenal’s third top goalscorer admitted it hurts him deeply to miss the match but confirmed he would not be travelling eastwards with the rest of the squad.

Welbeck in contention for shock return

When it was revealed that a seriously injured Danny Welbeck would not be offered a new contract, Arsenal fans thought they had seen the last of the striker. He was due to spend the final few months of his north London in the treatment room but here he is now in-line for a surprise farewell appearance. The soon to be free agent netted a hat-trick in an internal friendly mid-way through the month and will be an option from the bench for Emery on Wednesday.

Analysis: Emery to work his Europa League magic

Sevilla will be long remembered for their hat-trick of Europa League wins but it’s important not to forget the man who orchestrated it: Unai Emery. The current Arsenal manager knows more than anyone about what is required to win this competition, which would give him the edge over most, but in particular Chelsea counterpart Sarri. The Italian is yet to claim a single piece of major silverware although he was only a penalty shootout away earlier in the year.

Arsenal to secure Champions League entry

Not only would winning this competition provide Arsenal with a second UEFA recognised European title but also backdoor entry into next season’s Champions League. It is an extra important clash for Arsenal as a result and one they should be backed to overcome (6/5). They have only made marginal improvements in the league this season but on the continent, the north Londoners have been a different beast. They impressively turned things around against a useful Rennes side before beating both Valencia and Napoli by four goal margins. Chelsea simply haven’t hit such highs in the competition lately and for this reason Arsenal are very well-priced to end up as winners.

Goals at both ends

After firing seven past Valencia and four past Napoli, its unlikely Arsenal can be kept at bay here. Their strikeforce is one that usually performs and they approach this game having scored in all but two of their last 19 tests. The Chelsea defence coped well enough without the services of Rudiger during the final two league games of the season but his absence will be more obvious this time. Sarri’s men have goals to offer too though, with both teams to score an appealing option (4/5). Former Gunner Olivier Giroud is the leading scorer in this competition and stats prove that his presence also brings out the best of Eden Hazard.

Aubameyang hungry for more

One man hitting form at just the right time for this final is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese international has netted seven goals in his last four matches including a hat-trick away at Valencia. Initially it seemed he couldn’t work alongside fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette but the duo have put in some fine displays lately. It would be no surprise to see either find the net here but the former Dortmund man is our pick as any anytime scorer (13/8) thanks to his superior goal scoring record.

Recent Matches

As you might expect, there is not a great deal between these two sides when looking at their recent record. Arsenal have won two of the last eight competitive meetings compared to Chelsea’s three. In this time, only one match has been decided by more than a one-goal margin.

19th January 2019: Arsenal 2 – 0 Chelsea

Arsenal closed the gap on the top four to just three points following this enthralling London derby win. Steaming out of the blocks, the Gunners soon took the lead following a moment of class from Alexandre Lacazette. Laurent Koscielny deservedly added another before the break with Chelsea unable to cope with the hosts’ rampant pressing. After regrouping at half-time, the Blues carried a greater in the second half but still failed to register a shot on target until the 82nd minute.

18th August 2018: Chelsea 3 – 2 Arsenal

Back in August, the pair played out a five-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge. A rampant Chelsea raced into a 2-0 lead early doors, with Pedro and Morata scoring. However, Arsenal went in level at the break thanks to strikes by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. It was tight second period, but Marcos Alonso’s late goal won it for Chelsea.

24th January 2018: Arsenal 2 – 1 Chelsea

Arsenal and Chelsea met in the semi-final of the EFL Cup last year. After a goalless draw at the Bridge, the Gunners booked their place in the final with a 2-1 victory on their own patch. Hazard gave the Blues an early lead, with an Antonio Rudiger own goal levelling things up after just 12 minutes. Granit Xhaka settled the tie in Arsenal’s favour on the hour mark.

10th January 2018: Chelsea 0 – 0 Arsenal

The first leg of that semi-final was a tight and tense affair at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had the better of the chances, with Cesc Fabregas hitting the post late on. However, Arsenal held firm to pick up a valuable 0-0 draw. Arsene Wenger’s Gunners went on to lose 3-0 to Man City in the final.

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